Driver arrested after car slams into Haines City office

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A speeding, unlicensed driver lost control of his car Monday afternoon and ended up crashing into a Haines City business, police say.

Dramatic surveillance video showed the crash, which happened at the Rent King office along Hinson Avenue just after 5 p.m. Police say Cesar Mendoza Tapia Jr. was turning left from Sixth Street South onto Hinson Avenue when the red Ford Mustang plowed into the building, sending glass and debris flying.

The car came to rest completely inside the building, causing $25,000 in damage.

Tapia, 19, was arrested on charges of reckless driving and driving without a license.

“The crash investigation determined that Tapia was operating the vehicle in a reckless manner and at a speed well above the posted 30 miles per hour limit,” a Haines City police spokesman explained.

Tapis declined medical treatment at the scene, and no one inside was injured.

"This is an area that usually has a heavy pedestrian presence and we're so thankful that no one was hurt," 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."