ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A 32-year-old man is facing DUI charges after his car crashed into an Atlantic Beach retail store early Sunday, police said.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Michael Inciso, of Atlantic Beach, is charged with DUI, DUI property damage, failure to stop at a red light and careless driving.
Inciso's red Chevy compact car rammed into the front of the AshleGryre store at the corner of Atlantic Boulevard and 3rd Street, and also damaged the wall it shares with Jimmy John's, police said.
According to an officer who witnessed the crash, Inciso's car was driving north in a parking lane on 3rd Street, ran a red light at Atlantic Boulevard, drove across the parking lot and smashed into the storefront.
Police said Inciso had a strong odor of alcohol, was confused and lethargic, had bloodshot eyes and swayed as he stood, prompting a DUI investigation. Inciso refused to complete field sobriety tests and was arrested.
The AshleGryre store is closed indefinitely, the owners told News4Jax, saying they are devastated.
It was the second time in three years that someone crashed into their store and it took months for them to reopen last time.
"I think it's unsafe and I think it's odd that it's happened," said Kathy Silver, who works in an office nearby. "A lot of people are familiar with the fact that it happened before. So they just can't believe that it happened again."
Fred Woller owns Salena's Accessories, which is located just a few stores east of AshleGryre. He said he clearly remembers the scene from Aug. 10, 2014, when a much larger vehicle ran into the same shop.
"As a matter of fact, it is three years to the week that the truck went through her store, so it's not a good omen," Woller told News4Jax on Monday. "Every decision has its positives and negatives. It's better visibility to be down toward Jimmy John's. But safety-wise, I'm OK."
A different time, a car hit a bank just to the west of the Jimmy John's. The collisions have people who work in the same building worried, frustrated and rattled.
"It's very upsetting," Woller said. "The small businesses try so hard to make things work as we've come out of the recession over the past few years. We all pull together ... And to have something like this happen in the middle of the summer season, you've got tourists in town, it destroys your whole business."
Both Silver and Woller said they're relieved it happened when it did so people weren't hurt.
"It's definitely a concern because this is a very busy plaza," Silver said. "People park here and they walk to the beach because it's so close to the beach. So if it had happened during the day, it could have really been a tragedy."
According to court records, this wasn't Inciso's first DUI arrest. In Alachua County, he was found guilty of DUI in 2007.