Haines City is, for the moment at least, giving Pasco County respite from its growing reputation as a prime purveyor of “Florida man (and woman)” stories.
Step aside guy who accidentally shot himself at Publix, look out woman who tried to extort her ex by posting his nudes online, move over basically all of Port Richey’s leadership and hop along Easter bunny vigilante with a criminal past — it’s Gary Wayne Anderson’s turn.
According to the Haines City Police Department, the 68-year-old Anderson had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit when he crashed a riding mower into the back of a police car Saturday evening.
According to a Haines City news release, an officer was responding to another call at Rodriguez Fashion on U.S. 17/92 around 7 p.m. when they heard a “loud noise from outside the business.” He walked out to find Anderson astride a dark riding lawn mower towing a red, white-topped cooler in a black trailer.
The officer also noticed some new damage to the bumper of a patrol car.
It being Florida and all, the story only starts there.
Police said Anderson couldn’t complete a field sobriety test and was at times laughing and others aggressive. He was taken to the police department where, police said, he couldn’t provide an adequate breathalyzer sample and accused police of poisoning him.
Anderson was then transported to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center where he tested positive for a blood-alcohol content of .241 and having cocaine in his system.
Amid a flurry of profanity and racial slurs, Anderson accused officers of putting the cocaine into his system, police said.
Still, it didn’t end there.
Police found Anderson’s driver’s license was suspended — 41 years ago. He also had two other DUI convictions with the last coming from Osceola County in 1987.
The police vehicle had minor damage to the rear bumper, according to the release. Anderson’s mower and trailer were towed away.
Anderson was booked into Polk County jail and charged with refusal to submit to a DUI test after having a license suspended and having a third DUI violation in more than 10 years. Jail records show he is currently being held without bond.
Polk jail records also show a number of battery and criminal mischief charges against Anderson since 2000.
Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @danuscripts.
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