Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse charged with DUI after April 20 crash

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The State Attorney’s Office has charged Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse with DUI following a controversial crash in April.

The case involved a single-vehicle crash April 20 on Greyhawk Boulevard in Bradenton, in which Kruse’s pickup truck hit a tree. A Manatee County Sheriff’s deputy on scene described Kruse immediately after the crash as “in an overall confused state.”

The police report noted Kruse’s vehicle collision alert system automatically called 911 after the impact and began recording conversations in the moments after the crash. Kruse’s wife, Jessica Kruse, arrived at the scene before deputies. In the 911 call recording, she is heard trying to get Kruse out of the vehicle. She refuses to give her location to 911 dispatchers and says, “We’re good” and that they don’t need deputies to respond.

“I reviewed the 911 chronology log and found that a male was in the vehicle immediately after the crash and sounded intoxicated. He was slurring his words and not responding at times,” the report said.

Following the crash, ABC7 caught up with Kruse at a special commissioner meeting.

“This was a personal careless driving that someone is trying to turn a civil case into something more,” said Kruse. “It’s not, I’m not going to get into people’s political leanings and what they are attempting to do this is a witch hunt.”

A heavily redacted incident sheet from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office does not show much information on the incident.

“I got a citation, I admit to the citation,” said Kruse. “What’s done is done, it’s two weeks later, it was an entire week it all went away, then someone decided to make something out of it, that’s it.” Kruse had agreed to attend traffic school after receiving a citation for reckless driving.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office handed over the investigation to the State Attorney’s Office.

The arraignment is scheduled for July 19, 2022, and in accordance with applicable Florida law, a summons will be issued for George K. Kruse. The State Attorney’s Office will not be making any comments while this case is pending.

A spokesperson from Manatee County tells ABC7, “ This is a matter for Commissioner Kruse. It is not a Manatee County Issue.”

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