Man charged with DUI after golf cart crashes into Jacksonville Beach bar

3 patrons suffered minor injuries in incident

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A man crashed a golf cart through the glass front of Mango’s Beach Bar on Sunday night as he was trying to leave after a night of drinking White Claws and Bud Light, according to his arrest report.

William Halford, 45, was trying to back his friend’s golf cart out of a parking space at the bar on First Street near Fifth Avenue North just before 11 p.m., but sent forward instead, according to Jacksonville Beach police.

“I drove it. I was trying to back it out for them,” police quoted Halford as saying.

Richard Dressell said he saw the crash happen.

“He thought it was in reverse. Apparently it was in drive and he stomped on the gas and it bunny-hopped the curb and went straight in,” Dressell said.

Three people inside the business suffered minor injuries, including Anthony Camponella, who said he was pinned between the golf cart and the bar.

“I was probably in shock a little bit. I wasn’t really sure what happened, but my first instinct was to, like, obviously get out from between the bar and the golf cart, so I climbed on top of the bar and then climbed out,” he told News4Jax by phone on Monday. “I’m a little thankful that it wasn’t worse. If it was a car as opposed to a golf cart, I could’ve been hurt a lot worse. Thankful that I am not hurt worse, but it was definitely not what I was expecting.”

The other two people told News4Jax they were dealing with bad aches and pains on Monday, but they’re going to be alright.

Officers wrote Halford smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and he swayed and provided lethargic responses while talking to them. The officers said Halford admitted it was not a good decision for him to drive the golf cart for his intoxicated friend given that he was also intoxicated.

The report said Halford admitted he had been drinking since 6:30 p.m. and Mango’s was the second bar he visited Sunday night.

Halford was charged with DUI with property damage and personal injury and he was cited for careless driving.

Locals said Sunday nights are usually pretty laid back and if the crash would have happened Friday or Saturday, it could have been a much worse situation.

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