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Chimney sweeper totals Camaro, tells police 'I drunk'

The kids might be expecting Santa Claus to bring gifts through their chimneys tonight, but Markus Bangerter won't be playing a role.

The 43-year-old Swiss chimney sweeper got stuck with handcuffs and was jailed following a crash Saturday afternoon that police said caused $40,000 worth of damage.

Bangerter is charged with driving under the influence, DUI-property damage and leaving the scene of an accident with damage. He remained in the Monroe County Detention Center Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 bond.

According to police reports, Bangerter was driving a red 2014 Chevrolet Camaro on South Street about 5:30 p.m. when he hit a telephone pole, then fled. Officer Jeffrey Dean wrote that "several people" flagged him down at Washington and Reynolds streets to report the hit and run.

Robert Mansman, a nearby witness, told Officer Jesse Young he saw Bangerter driving the Camaro with extensive damage. A large "shower of sparks" emanated from pieces of the car dragging on the road.

Mansman had recorded the traveling Camaro on his cell phone and Young wrote the video was "exactly as Mansman described." Bangerter was found at Flagler Avenue and Grinnell Street, just a short distance from the crash site.

Other officers went back to the crash site and found the telephone pole, "the front bumper, the front grill, pieces of the rim and markers lights of the Camaro." The crash had also damaged a nearby car.

When Young detained Bangerter, the suspect reportedly said: "I on holiday from Switzerland. I drunk." He said he had drunk two whiskey drinks and a large beer while downtown.

Because of a language barrier, Bangerter had to be read his Miranda rights in German, courtesy of an acquaintance of Sgt. Frank Blasberg. He was later taken to jail, where had had his breath tested for alcohol.

Two blood alcohol level samples came back as 0.135 percent and 0.137 percent, respectively. In Florida, 08 percent is considered legally drunk.

Bangerter is scheduled for arraignment in front of Monroe County Judge Wayne Miller at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 5.

Go to KeysNet.com to read more.

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