Drunk Driver Hits Sheriff's Office Vehicle, Flees Scene

NEWS RELEASE 17-258 - DECEMBER 14, 2017
Garcia, Roberto 
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested an 18-year-old Tuesday night for driving under the influence after he crashed into a sheriff’s office animal services van.

Traffic Unit deputies responded to mile marker 186 in the northbound lanes of I-75 in North Port just after 10:00 p.m., for a report of a rollover crash. Before deputies arrived, the at-fault driver fled the area on foot. The sheriff’s office Aviation Unit and North Port Police Department K-9 were called to assist and tracked the driver to a nearby wooded area. The suspect, identified as Roberto Garcia, DOB 04/08/99, was quickly taken into custody for fleeing the scene of a crash. During the investigation, traffic deputies located an empty beer bottle on the front passenger seat of Garcia’s vehicle and observed obvious signs of impairment. Garcia, who was driving without a valid license, was arrested and taken to the Sarasota County Jail. The Animal Services Officer was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the vehicle was totaled. There were no animals inside the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Garcia, of Immokalee, is charged with Driving Under the Influence with Damage to Property, Driving Under the Influence with Personal Injury, two counts of Hit and Run, and Driving without a Valid License. He is currently being held on $500 bond.