Man Crashes Lawn Mower into HCPD Vehicle, Charged With DUI
HAINES CITY, FL – A Haines City man was charged with driving under the influence after crashing his lawn mower into a Haines City Police Department vehicle before 7 p.m. Saturday evening.
The police vehicle was parked at Rodriguez Fashion, 1100 U.S. 17/92 N., while the officer was tending to another matter inside when he heard a loud noise from outside the business. The officer walked outside and saw Gary Wayne Anderson, 68, on a lawn mower with an attached trailer and noticed minor damage to the rear plastic portion of the police vehicle’s bumper.
Anderson told police that he did hit the vehicle, but didn’t cause any damage and that he was drunk. Anderson was unable to complete the field sobriety tests and his demeanor ranged from laughing to aggressive. After being transported to the Haines City Police Department, Anderson claimed that he had been poisoned by police and asked to be taken to a hospital.
Anderson was transported to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center where he maintained that he had been poisoned. At the Police Department, Anderson agreed to submit to a breathalyzer, but would not provide an adequate sample. Anderson provided an adequate sample at Heart of Florida.
Anderson’s blood-alcohol content returned at .241 – more than three times the legal limit. There was also cocaine in Anderson’s system. Anderson accused police of putting the cocaine into his system while directing profane language and racial slurs at the officer.
Anderson’s driver’s license has been suspended since March 1978. Anderson has two prior DUI convictions with the last coming in 1987 in Osceola County, making the charges a third DUI violation more than 10 years and refusal to submit to a DUI test after license suspended. Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors.
There was no other damage to the police vehicle. Anderson’s lawn mower and trailer were towed.
“I’m proud of the professional demeanor our officers showed when dealing with this heavily-intoxicated, belligerent offender,” Chief Jim Elensky said. “It’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel drunk, even if that wheel is to a Craftsman, Massey Ferguson or John Deere.”