Man arrested in hit and run case


A 65-year-old Little Torch Key man was arrested Thursday night after striking a utility pole with such force that it caused a temporary neighborhood power outage and then leaving the scene.


David Arsenio Bethencourt was charged with hit and run causing property damage and possession of Xanax without a proper labeling/prescription.


Deputies William Guerra, Anthony Wales and Timothy Oggeri responded to Barry Avenue on Little Torch Key about 11 p.m. regarding a hit and run crash. A manager at Kiki’s Sandbar Bar & Grille waved down Deputies Guerra and Oggeri and stated he heard a bang, walked outside and saw a Toyota Tundra pickup truck crashed into a utility pole, which resulted in the transformer blowing up. The driver got out and was surveying the damage. The witness told the driver he was calling 911. The driver of the truck then got back in the truck and sped off, the witness stated.


The crash caused a power outage in the neighborhood and a water line was also damaged, which was gushing large amounts of water. A Toyota Tundra grill was also found at the crash scene.


The Toyota Tundra and driver, identified as Bethencourt, were found down about 300 feet down the street on Barry Avenue. The front end of the pickup truck was smashed in about two feet. The truck was smoking and revving loudly.

Deputy Wales recognized Bethencourt from two previous calls Thursday night:


  • At approximately 7 p.m. the same truck was reported in a northbound reckless driver call at Mile Marker 27. Deputy Wales found the truck parked and Bethencourt outside the truck. Deputy Wales found no signs of impairment from Bethencourt.


  • At approximately 10 p.m., a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer informed the Sheriff’s Office of a Toyota Tundra (the same truck) driving southbound at Mile Marker 44 had veered into the southbound lane. Deputy Wales responded with another Deputy and again found no signs of impairment from Bethencourt.


Back on Barry Avenue, Deputy Wales informed Bethencourt that he was under arrest for leaving the scene of the crash up the street.


Bethencourt did not display any signs of impairment in any of the three incidents.


Deputy Oggeri searched Bethencourt and found one and a half Xanax pills wrapped in aluminum foil in Bethencourt’s pocket.


Bethencourt was taken to jail.

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