The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has released body cam footage that documents a deputy declaring a Republican Florida politician was intoxicated after crashing his truck.

“Video and audio footage show Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse slur his words and struggle to answer questions in a recorded 911 call and deputy’s bodycam footage that captured the moments immediately after his alleged DUI crash,” the Bradenton Herald reported Thursday. “The commissioner has not been arrested in connection with the crash, and denies he was drinking.”

In the bodycam footage, which was released after a public records request from the newspaper, was taken on the evening of April 20. A white Ford F-150 can be seen crashed into a tree.

By the time the deputy arrived, Kruse’s wife Jessica was already on the scene.

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The footage shows another sheriff’s deputy pull up and discuss the situation.

“What happened?” the second deputy asked.

“The dude freaking crashed into a tree,” the first deputy said, saying Kruse was “drunk.”

“I just can’t do a DUI because nobody can put him behind the wheel,” he explained. “When I got here, he was in his wife’s car.”

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Kruse told the Business Observer that the investigation was “entirely political.”

“It’s just a witch hunt. There was no alcohol, there were no drugs involved. My citation does not check that box,” he claimed.

The Bradenton Herald reported there are inconsistencies in how Kruse explained the crash. “During an interview with the sheriff’s office, Kruse said that he ‘cut a curb’ when another driver sped past him, but investigators found that he told his insurance company that he swerved to avoid a small animal,” the newspaper explained.

The body cam footage shows the initial deputy on the scene discussing the situation with Jessica Kruse.

“You understand your husband could go to jail for intoxicated driving,” he said. “So you need to just talk to him about that. He’s obviously impaired. It’s obvious. This kind of crush depth for this kind of crash, he was not doing the speed limit this road requires.”

“I will say though, that this asphalt has been a complete sh*tshow,” she replied.

The sheriff’s office told the newspaper it has completed its investigation and handed over all evidence to the State Attorney’s Office with a recommendation that charges be filed.

Watch WFLA-TV’s coverage below or at this link.


Video Shows Florida Commissioner in Suspected DUI Crash, Charges Not Filed | #HeyJB on WFLA Now

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