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Driver held after car smashes into home

A New Port Richey woman is charged with driving under the influence with damage to property.


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 31, 2000

NEW PORT RICHEY -- Dan Hoffman woke his father up Sunday with an early-morning phone call.

"I said, "Get over here. There's someone parked in my office,' " Hoffman recalled later Sunday morning.

Indeed, Hoffman had found a four-door, blue Buick resting outside his house, after it knocked a hole in the back wall and sent the contents of Hoffman's study flying across the room. Hoffman's computer had crashed against the floor, and his makeshift desk, a wooden door stretched across two short filing cabinets, had been flung into the entry door where it made another hole.

"My desk chair ended up in the bathroom," said Hoffman, who works for CompUSA.

New Port Richey police arrested Giovanna Marie Danapas in the crash, which occurred about 3:30 a.m., causing at least $5,000 damage to Hoffman's Tangerine Drive home, according to Hoffman and police.

Danapas, 18, of 4753 Madison St. in New Port Richey, was charged with one count of driving under the influence with damage to property. She was taken to North Bay Hospital to have blood drawn and then to the county detention center in Land O'Lakes.

According to police, Danapas said she had taken the drug ecstasy before driving her car. Although she did not smell of alcohol, police said she failed several field sobriety tests.

Danapas told police she is a teacher at the Kids Stop-N-Play day care in Holiday. Neither Danapas nor the day care owners could be reached for comment.

Hoffman said he and his wife had gone to bed just half an hour before the crash. Hoffman said he heard nothing. Their bedroom is at the opposite corner of the house, and at first he didn't believe his wife, Dawn, when she said something was wrong.

"I said, "You're hearing things; let's go back to bed," Hoffman said. But then he heard a car start, and that's when he walked around to the back of the house and saw Danapas' car wedged between his house and a tree.

Hoffman said he was glad his 14-month-old daughter, Haley, had spent the night with his parents and that no one was hurt. Insurance will cover the house repairs, but Hoffman said the accident came just as he was finishing an extensive remodeling job.

"I just painted the outside of the house two weeks ago."

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