Man Accused of DUI, Crashing into Outdoor Tiki Bar, Pinellas Deputies Say
Two people were injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The accused man has two previous DUI convictions and is awaiting trial for a third DUI arrest. His driver’s license has been permanently revoked.
PALM HARBOR – A Dunedin man is accused of drunken driving after crashing into an outdoor tiki bar and injuring two people during the annual Citrus Festival in Palm Harbor, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Beatrice Cahenzli, 55, of Palm Harbor, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with non-life threatening injuries. Jennifer Schutt, 71, of Clearwater, was taken to Florida Hospital North Pinellas with non-life threatening injuries. Three others who were hit refused medical treatment at the scene.
Duane Wagner, 59, of Dunedin, was charged with one count each of felony DUI (third or subsequent offense) and felony driving while license permanently revoked. Deputies said that Wagner submitted a breath sample that indicated he had a blood alcohol content of .103/.101.
Wagner has two previous DUI convictions in 1993 and 2009. Wagner is awaiting trial for a third DUI arrest from December 2017, according to deputies. His driver’s license has been permanently revoked since 2009.
The crash occurred about 7:49 p.m. Friday (April 13) at the Thirsty Marlin Grill and Bar, 1023 Florida Ave. in Palm Harbor.
Deputies said Cahenzli had parked her 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the alleyway on the north side of the bar, just west of 11th Street. She was trying to leave and was having trouble backing her car out when Wagner, an acquaintance, offered to move the car for her.
Wagner got into the car, put the vehicle in reverse and accelerated backward striking a Duke Energy power pole on the north side of the alleyway. Deputies said the impact caused significant damage to the power pole.
Wagner then placed the vehicle in drive and accelerated southbound across the alleyway striking Cahenzli and throwing her up onto the hood of the vehicle. Deputies said Wagner continued accelerating and drove through a 6-foot wooden stockade fence on the north side of the Thirsty Marlin. The car crashed through the fence and hit four patrons in the outside tiki bar area.
Duke Energy came to the scene because of a power outage caused when the pole was hit.
Deputies said Wagner claimed that he got the brake pedal and the accelerator mixed up causing him to crash the car.
While speaking with Wagner, deputies said he showed signs of impairment by having bloodshot, glassy, and watery eyes and a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath when he spoke. Wagner agreed to perform field sobriety tests, but he performed poorly on them.
Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | DUI | Arrests | Drunk Driving | Tampabay News
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