(As originally published with additional photos, Thu, December 28th 2023)
SUMMERFIELD, Fla. (TND) — A sheriff’s deputy saw a red van speeding but this incident turned into much more than a simple traffic ticket, as the arrest report details.
Early last Thursday, just after 1 a.m., the deputy in Florida clocked the van “traveling at 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.”
The driver also didn’t use turn signals, or signal while changing lanes, so the deputy “initiated a traffic stop.”
Now, things start to get unusual.
“The vehicle was slow to yield to my emergency equipment and took approximately one-quarter of a mile to come to its final resting point,” the deputy wrote.
“I observed the female passenger, later identified as [name], wearing a pink long-sleeve shirt, trade places with a male in dark colored clothing, later identified as defendant Michael Grant, by moving from the passenger seat to the driver seat.”
Deputies tend to go to the driver’s side window, but this one walked to the passenger side, and, “I observed the defendant buckling his seatbelt and simultaneously [name], who was now seated in the driver’s seat, was rolling down the passenger window.
“As the window opened, I immediately smelled an odor to be that of an intoxicating beverage.”
Grant, the deputy wrote, “had bloodshot watery eyes and speech patterns that could be described as slurred and were consistent with what I have previously observed in other intoxicated individuals.
“The defendant was instructed to provide me with his state-issued identification card to which he refused multiple times upon demand, and only provided once he was advised he would be arrested if he failed to do so.”
Next in the arrest report, “I asked him to step out of the vehicle, to which he refused, and made arguments stating that he was not the driver, so he did not believe he had to follow my directions.”
Eventually, he did, “and during the course of my investigation, did admit to drinking, but claimed he was not the driver.
“The defendant also questioned why he would drive drunk without a good license.
“This statement did indicate to me that, by the defendant’s own admission, he was intoxicated and had knowledge that he did not have a valid license.”
The woman now in the driver’s seat had a valid license and was not wanted, but, “A records check showed that the defendant has a suspended license and previously implied consent refusal.”
That last time was in 2009, and his license was suspended in July “for failure to pay financial obligation.”
Then, “The defendant was given the opportunity to take standard field sobriety tasks to which he refused by stating, ‘I’m not submitting to anything.’”
The deputy asked again and then put him in handcuffs. The woman got the car and drove away.
In jail, the deputy made Grant “aware of the penalties for refusing” a breath test, and he “refused to answer any questions related to taking the breath test.”
He “also made statements he did not know he had a suspended license.
“The defendant was consistently uncooperative and irritated throughout our interactions.”
Grant ended up with a ticket for speeding, and he was charged with DUI, refusing to submit to a DUI test, and driving without a valid license.
The 39-year-old has a history of arrests in Marion County.
In late 2019, he spent six days in jail after being arrested for battery, false imprisonment, simple assault, obstruction of justice, and resisting an officer.
In 2021, he spent almost eight months in jail after his arrest for failing to appear and orders to revoke bond from his previous arrest.
This past January, he started spending more than three months in jail for extortion or threats, and violating the terms of his parole.
Then, last week, after his arrest on the road, he was released after a day.