Carny Pleads Guilty in Golf Cart DUI Case

A Florida man said to be intoxicated when he drove a golf cart into a young woman at Tullytown’s St. Michael’s Fair last summer plead guilty and was sentenced this week.

Bruce Coppage Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department

Bruce Coppage
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department

Bruce Coppage, 30, of Gibsonton, Fla., came before a Bucks County judge on Tuesday and entered his plea for charges of DUI and related offenses. He was sentenced to probation. The judge said Coppage could use time he served in jail following his February Florida arrest on a Bucks County warrant toward his sentence.

Assistant District Attorney A.J. Garabedian said the 30-year-old had the most serious charges of aggravated assault by DUI and aggravated assault by vehicle withdrawn because the accident happened on a grassy area and not on the roadway. Garabedian added he inspected the crash scene and confirmed the crash did not happen on a roadway.

At the time of his arrest, Tullytown authorities said they observed slurred speech, lethargic demeanor coming from Coppage. They also said in court papers that he admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages prior to the accident. Officers asked the defendant if he could perform the field test and he told them he has problems with his knees at times, records show.

Police said the young woman struck by the golf cart suffered a serious injury and was “screaming in pain” when they arrived. The woman spent an extended period of time at St. Mary’s Hospital recovering from her injuries before going back to her home in the south.

A co-worker and a friend of the victim said she underwent several surgeries after the accident, which almost lead to the amputation of her arm. The co-worker said the woman traveled with the carnival and was from the south.

“She’s still suffering from this,” Garabedian said.

Coppage was employed by Reithoffer Shows, which is based in Florida.

A GoFundMe page for the woman who received serious injuries when Coppage ran over her is collecting donations to pay for her mounting medical bills. 

Coppage did not show up for two scheduled court appearances in 2013. He showed up to his first preliminary hearing, where he was free on unsecured bail. However, that was continued as he did not yet have a public defender. Coppage told District Judge Robert Wagner last year that he missed a scheduled meeting with a public defender because he was two hours late due to traffic.


Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications.In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011.When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family.If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through.Email: Phone: 215-431-1001