A Haines City man is facing a DUI charge after police say he hit a cruiser while driving a lawnmower then accused cops of poisoning him and putting cocaine in his system.
The crash happened around 7 p.m. Saturday outside Rodriguez Fashion on US-17/92 North. An officer was inside when he heard a loud noise come from outside where his cruiser was parked.
When the officer walked outside, he says he spotted 68-year-old Gary Wayne Anderson on a lawnmower with an attached trailer. The officer also noted there was minor damage to the back bumper on his police car.
According to police, Anderson admitted he was drunk and hit the cruiser but claimed he didn’t cause any damage. Officers say he couldn’t complete field sobriety tests and noted that his demeanor “ranged from laughing to aggressive.”
After he was taken to the police department, Anderson asked to be taken to a hospital because he claimed he had been poisoned by police, officers say.
Anderson was taken to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, where he provided a breathalyzer sample. According to police, his blood-alcohol content was .241 – more than three times the legal limit.
Officers say Anderson also had cocaine in his system. Anderson accused police of putting the cocaine in his system, “while directing profane language and racial slurs at the officer,” police say.
“I’m proud of the professional demeanor our officers showed when dealing with this heavily-intoxicated, belligerent offender,” Chief Jim Elensky said.
According to a police department spokesman, Anderson’s driver’s license has been suspended since March 1978. He also has two prior DUI convictions.
“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,” Chief Elensky said.