Man behind bars after plowing into Leadership Martial Arts with car

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Dante Duffy is in jail after Charlotte Mecklenburg Police said he plowed into the Leadership Martial Arts building in Steele Creek with a car. Police said he was driving while intoxicated the afternoon he smashed into the dojo.

Derek Richardson is the owner and Monday he met with contractors to get an idea of what needs to happen to re-open.

“The guy was aggressive and hostile when he got out of the car, he was confrontational with myself and other adults it’s good to know he’s in jail,” Richardson said. “We’re going to remove some of the drywall that is not attached to the beams and once we removed that hanging drywall there are no structural issues that will impede on holding classes.”

Monday through Saturday students learn the skill of martial arts and normally the building would be filled with people on Saturdays. Thankfully no one was hurt.

“It’s a miracle that none of us happened to be near the area where the car entered that is an area where people often congregate,” Richardson said.

Tanya Mazingo was inside the building attending a leadership team orientation when Duffy came flying through the wall. She’s now rallying behind the owner to help him open back up and helping pick up the pieces.

“We are a family and we very much love supporting each other and just the opportunity to help support Derek during this kind of crazy time,” Mazingo said. “It’s just great to have the opportunity to be there for him because he’s always there for us.”

The owner plans to reopen on Wednesday and plans to add more protection around the building to keep this from happening again.

Damages are estimated to be at least $25,000.

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