NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Deputies: Drunk driver hits, totals Sheriff's Office Animal Services van, runs from the scene

Posted at 12:33 PM, Dec 14, 2017

An 18-year-old man has been arrested after he reportedly crashed into a Sheriff's Office animal services van while driving under the influence. 

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested Roberto Garcia, of Immokalee, on Tuesday, December 12 after they responded to a report of a rollover crash near mile marker 186 in the northbound lanes of I-75 in North Port at approximately 10 p.m. 

Before deputies arrived, Garcia ran away from the scene. 

The Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit and North Port Police Department K-9 tracked down the suspect. 

Garcia was taken into custody for running away from the scene of a crash. During the investigation, deputies located an empty beer bottle on the front passenger seat of Garcia's vehicle and observed "obvious signs of impairment." Garcia was also driving without a valid license. He was arrested and taken to t he 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 was 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.