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The Villages
Sunday, November 27, 2022

DUI suspect with two pistols in Ford Mustang arrested after crash on I-75 in Sumter County

Charles Michael Benitez
Charles Michael Benitez

A drunk driving suspect with two pistols in his Ford Mustang was arrested after a crash on Interstate 75 in Sumter County.

The Florida Highway Patrol was called at 3 p.m. Thursday to investigate a crash involving the red Ford Mustang and a black Peterbilt semi with North Carolina plates on I-75 at Mile Marker 326. Charles Michael Benitez, 28, of Cape Coral, was still seated in the driver’s seat of the Mustang when the first trooper arrived on the scene. Benitez’s speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet.

Benitez said he had consumed a cup of rum at about noon that day, according to the arrest report. He struggled through field sobriety exercises and provided breath samples that registered .183 and .200 blood alcohol content.

An inventory of the vehicle turned up a 1.75 liter bottle of Wicked Dolphin rum, a 9mm pistol and a .45-caliber pistol.

Benitez was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and ticketed on a charge of careless driving. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $1,000 bond.

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