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Driver charged with DUI after SUV slams into Avondale home

50-year-old driver had weed in his pocket, Jacksonville police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 50-year-old driver is facing DUI charges after his SUV clipped several cars and then barreled into an Avondale home late Thursday night, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Robert Buccella Jr. is charged with DUI, four counts of DUI property damage, careless driving and possession of marijuana.

Police said Buccella had a baggie of weed in his shirt pocket, and that when he crawled out of the wreck, an officer noticed that he was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol and was slurring his speech as he explained why he'd driven into the house at the corner of Rensselaer Avenue and Randall Street. 

PHOTOS: SUV crashes into Avondale home

Bucella twice refused to do a field sobriety test, saying he wanted a lawyer, according to the arrest report. Police said he eventually agreed to take the test and did poorly.

The officer asked him how impaired he felt he was on a scale of zero to 10, and he answered “three or four," the report said.

News4Jax has learned that Buccella was arrested in June on a DUI charge and was out on bond, awaiting trial when his SUV crashed into the front of the home, damaging the left portion of the house.

Neighbors couldn’t believe what they saw.

"I was sleeping and my husband was watching TV, and we heard a large crash; come flying out the front door to find a car in the neighbor's house," Elizabeth Dent said.

A couple who lives across the street told News4Jax that the noise from the crash was so loud that it woke them up.

"I woke up, and I heard a car coming down screeching and then all of a sudden a big crash right into this house," neighbor Tucker Worsham said. "Next thing I knew, everyone on the street was basically out here. We had a couple fire trucks and cop cars come out here."

Worsham said he noticed Buccella wearing sunglasses after the crash -- an odd sight after 11 p.m.

"I think he might have been stuck in the car when he crashed," Worsham said. "It's pretty scary."

According to neighbors, everyone in the home is OK. There were two children upstairs who, apparently, slept through the entire incident.


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