HAINES CITY, Fla. — A Lake Hamilton man was arrested after police say he crashed his car into a Haines City business on Monday afternoon.

Police say Cesar Mendoza Tapia Jr., 19, was driving a Ford Mustang and turning left from Sixth Street South onto Hinson Avenue when he lost control of the car. Officers say Tapia crashed into the south window of the Rent King at 500 E Hinson Ave.

Police say there were no reported injuries, and Tapia refused medical treatment.

An investigation found Tapia was "operating the vehicle in a reckless manner" and was driving above the speed limit of 30 miles per hour. Police said Tapia didn't have a valid driver's license, only a state ID card.

The business owner told police the damage is estimated at more than $25,000. Code compliance said the building is still structurally sound.

Tapia was charged with reckless driving and driving without a license.

"This is an area that usually has a heavy pedestrian presence and we're so thankful that no one was hurt," Haines City Police Chief Jim Elensky said. "Mr. Tapia was taken to jail, but this could have been much, much worse. We hope this serves as a lesson to him and anyone else who thinks it's OK to drive without a license or at high rates of speed."

Cesar Mendoza Tapia
Cesar Mendoza Tapia was charged with reckless driving and driving without a license after police say he crashed into a Haines City business on June 3, 2019.
Haines City Police Department

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