A drunk man drove into a tiki bar Friday night, injuring at least two women, including the owner of the vehicle, deputies said.
Both women were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Beatrice Cahenzli, 55, had parked her 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the alleyway north of Thirsty Marlin Grill and Bar at 1023 Florida Ave. in Palm Harbor.
Cahenzli couldn’t back out of the spot she was in, so 59-year-old Duane Wagner, an acquaintance, offered to help, deputies said. Wagner’s driver’s license was permanently revoked in 2009 after at least two previous DUI convictions, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Placing the car in reverse, Wagner hit the gas and struck a utility pole, causing significant damage to it, deputies said.
Then Wagner shifted into drive and drove into Cahenzli, causing her to hit the hood of her own car, deputies said.
He didn’t stop there.
Wagner broke through a six-foot-tall wooden fence on the north side of the Thirsty Marlin, hitting four people in the outside area of the bar, deputies said.
One of those hit was Jennifer Schutt, 71, of Clearwater.
Paramedics took Cahenzli to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. Schutt was taken to Florida Hospital North Pinellas.
The other three hit by Wagner refused medical treatment at the scene, deputies said.
Wagner told deputies he had mixed up the brake and gas pedals. A breath test showed that his blood alcohol content was well above the legal limit, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Wagner was arrested and charged with driving while under the influence, third or subsequent offense, and driving while license permanently revoked. Wagner also faces a DUI charge from December.