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East County Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2022 1 day ago

Florida State Attorney's Office files DUI charge against Manatee commissioner

George Kruse will be charged with one count of driving under the influence.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

The State Attorney's Office announced Wednesday it is filing one count of driving under the influence against Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse.

Kruse was not arrested after an April 20 one-car crash on GreyHawk Boulevard in east Bradenton. Although no field sobriety or other alcohol related tests were taken, an investigation by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office began the next day. Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, saying "Review of this traffic crash revealed additional evidence that was not available on the evening of April 20," eventually forwarded the case to the State Attorney's Office.

The State Attorney's Office issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“Due to the public interest shown in the case and in response to our frequent media inquiries about the status of this case, today the State Attorney’s Office announces that (it is) charging George K. Kruse with a single count of driving under the influence. The arraignment is scheduled for July 19, and in accordance with applicable Florida law, a summons will be issued for George K. Kruse. Please bear in mind all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The State Attorney’s Office will not be making any comments while this case is pending.”

Kruse had driven his white pickup truck into a tree at approximately 7:42 p.m., according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office report. Lt. Nicholas Pruitt wrote in the report that any reasonable person would surmise Kruse was in control of the vehicle and that he was under the influence of an unknown substance.


Watch the body cam footage from the Manatee Sheriff's officer following the crash here.

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