ST. PETERSBURG — A 26-year-old man accused of drunkenly crashing into a pole Tuesday is also accused of child abuse because police say his 3-year-old daughter was inside the car.
William Ryan Joseph was charged with DUI involving serious bodily injury, driving with a suspended or revoked license, refusing to take a breath or blood test, and child abuse.
The crash was at 8 p.m. at Iris Street and 16th Street N, police said. Joseph was northbound on 16th in a 1992 Mercury when he struck the curb and a concrete pole. His 3-year-old daughter, who was not identified by police, injured her left arm in the crash.
She was wearing a seatbelt in the backseat but it was unclear if she was in a child seat as state law requires.
Joseph showed signs of impairment, police said, but refused to submit to field-sobriety tests or a Breathalyzer exam. He told police he turned around to look at his daughter in the back seat when he crashed. Joseph said he had only two beers at lunch, police said.
But his driver's license has been suspended and revoked several times in recent years, according to police, most recently 12 days before the crash. Joseph was being held Wednesday in the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $16,250 bail.
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