A Citrus County man is accused of boating under the influence, driving boat with child in lap

FWC makes at least 5 BWI arrests in Citrus County
Posted at 12:26 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 13:37:38-04

A Lecanto man is accused of driving a boat with a child in his lap while under the influence, according to the state.

Johnathan Laing, 33, of 2768 W. Ocala St., is now charged with boating under the influence and operating a vessel in a reckless manner.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers say they were patrolling the Crystal River near Bagleys Cove around 10 p.m. July 4 when they saw a 20-foot pontoon boat coming straight at their boat.

Officers said they activated their blue lights to try and get the boat's driver to stop, an arrest affidavit states. At the last minute, the driver of the boat veered, narrowly missing the officers and a second boat.

When the boat flew by, officers say they saw Laing in the operator's seat holding a child.

Once the boat was stopped, officers say they discovered the child to be a 2-year-old girl. Officers noted Laing had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol.

There were also numerous beer cans in and around the table and console, an arrest affidavit states.

Officers say Laing consented to a field sobriety test but say he refused to a breath test.

Laing was arrested and given a $1,000 bond.


During water patrol on Crystal River July 3, FWC officers arrested a 43-year-old man for boating under the influence.

Jason Blair, of 7851 N.E. 100th Ave. in Bronson, is charged with boating under the influence.

Officer say they initially stopped Blair's boat because it did not have a vessel safety decal displayed.

Blair could not provide registration for the boat and officers noted his eyes were red, he smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech, an arrest affidavit states.

Officers say they spotted a bottle of tequila that was half empty located next to the center console.

Officers described the bottle as being a half gallon in size.

Blair's boat was escorted back to the boat ramp where officers say he submitted to field sobriety tests.

Officers say he failed the tests and during his ride to the jail stated, "I know you are just doing your job. I didn't drive the boat too far, and I know I had a few drinks, but I am not a bad guy."

Blair was given a $500 bond.


In an unrelated case, FWC officers also charged a Lakeland woman with BUI.

Linda Wenzel, 61, of 10402 Sherouse Road, was reportedly operating a personal watercraft when she attempted to spray water on people aboard another vessel while both shouting and cursing.

Officers say Wenzel also was violating the slow speed zone near manatees.

According to an arrest affidavit, Wenzel said, "Those guys on that boat are asshole[s] and I flashed them."

Officers described Wenzel as strongly smelling of alcohol. They also said she had bloodshot eyes.

Wenzel reportedly told officers she had been out since noon and "drank two beers and had not had a chance to get a good buzz going yet," an affidavit states.

Officers say Wenzel agreed to field sobriety tests and offered to do cartwheels to prove she was not intoxicated.

An arrest affidavit states Wenzel took a breathalyzer and blew a .105 and .111.


Steven Staley, of 6924 Palomino Drive in Lakeland, is also facing BUI charges.

FWC officers say they stopped Staley's boat Sunday night near the Manatee Pub Canal on the Homosassa River.

Officers say the 49-year-old didn't have his boating registration and smelled of alcohol.

There was one other person on the boat.

Officers say Staley failed field sobriety tests and stated he would lose his job if he were arrested.

Staley reportedly admitted to having a couple drinks but that the odor of alcohol on him was from the night before, an arrest affidavit states.

Staley refused to take a breathalyzer test, an officer noted.


Patrols of the Salt River resulted in the arrest of Larry Skidmore.

Skidmore, of 430 NE 13th St. in Crystal River, is now facing BUI charges.

FWC officers say shortly before 7 p.m. on Sunday, they spotted Skidmore operating a black skiff and violating the manatee speed zone in Coon Gap.

Officers described Skidmore as having glassy, bloodshot eyes, being unable to conduct small tasks like getting a life jacket and smelling of alcohol.

Skidmore agreed to a field sobriety test, officer say.

Skidmore reportedly asked officers "if it was possible he could still be drunk and hung over from the night before and if that would affect the tasks," an arrest affidavit states.