Sarasota man arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, leaving young children at home alone so he could go drinking at a bar

Sarasota man arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, leaving young children at home alone so he could go drinking at a bar
Sarasota man arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, leaving young children at home alone so he could go drinking at a bar (Source: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Deputies have arrested a 48-year-old man for allegedly leaving his young kids at home alone so he could go drinking at a local bar.

Deputies say they responded to the 8-Ball Lounge in the 3500 block of Webber Street in Sarasota after learning about a traffic crash that had occurred in the area.

According to deputies, Matthew Coppola, 48, was driving in a 2012, white in-color, Dodge Van and he lost control of the vehicle because he was driving under the influence.

Reportedly, he struck a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of 8-Ball Lounge and caused damage to the rear tow bars of the parked vehicle.

Deputies say a witness on scene saw Coppola when this happened and camera footage later revealed that he was the driver of the white Dodge van that caused this crash.

Law enforcement officers say when they made contact with Coppola he uttered some statements about a six-year-old child and an eight-year-old child that were alone at his home in Sarasota.

According to deputies, Coppola said the mother of the children was at work because she worked during those hours.

Deputies say they then attempted to reach out to the mother at her job and they spoke with her supervisor who then passed the call along to someone else who informed LEOs that she was actually left Florida on Tuesday to go visit with family in Boston, Mass.

Deputies say they arrived at the home of Coppola and they unlocked the door and found both of the children sound asleep and they appeared to be doing fine.

According to LEO’s, they eventually spoke to the mother of the children and she confirmed to them that she had been away for one day and she had no idea that the children were left unsupervised and she was visibly upset.

Deputies say she says that she also lives at the home and was there until between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday and when she left she had intended to stay the night with her boyfriend.

According to deputies,it was determined that between the hours of 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday and midnight on Wednesday that Coppola had put the children to bed and he then left the home with the intention to go drink alcohol at the 8-Ball Lounge and left the children without supervision.

He was arrested, transported to the Sarasota County Jail, and is facing two counts of Neglect Child Without Great Bodily Harm.

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