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Saturday, May 21, 2022
Generic Crime
Generic Crime

An intoxicated, off-duty Alachua County Sheriff's Office deputy hit a parked car twice, sped down University Avenue and refused field-sobriety tests early Friday morning, Gainesville Police said.

Joseph Clayton Sperring, 27, was leaving the parking lot across from Rain nightclub at 11:56 p.m. Thursday in his gray 2015 Chevrolet Silverado when he hit the front driver’s side of a vehicle parked next to him. In an attempt to back out again, he hit the car a second time, according to a police report.

Sperring left the scene and was later noticed by police when he sped west on University Avenue driving 52 mph, according to the report.

Sperring turned right onto Northwest Fifth Street, and two cars followed behind him. A white sedan drove in front of Sperring’s truck, which blocked him from leaving. Occupants of the sedan argued with Sperring and told him he had crashed into their vehicle in the parking lot, according to the report.

Police observed the dispute and noticed that Sperring smelled like alcohol, according to the report. Sperring, who identified himself as a deputy sheriff, told officers he only had one drink and that he was not driving under the influence.

Sperring’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, according to the report, but Sperring refused to perform field-sobriety exercises.

At about 12:39 a.m., Sperring interrupted and argued with an officer who read him a Miranda warning and tried to explain he was conducting a DUI investigation. Sperring was uncooperative and repeatedly said it was “ridiculous,” according to the report.

After his arrest, Sperring refused a breathalyzer test and later complained of chest pains. He was taken to the emergency room at UF Health Shands Hospital, according to the report.

Police arrested Sperring on charges of driving under the influence and hit and run. Authorities took him to the Alachua County Jail at about 5 a.m., where he was released on his own recognizance at about noon.

ACSO began in internal investigation of Sperring and placed him on administrative leave, according to a press release. ACSO hired Sperring in September 2014.

mkornfield@alligator.org

@merylkornfield

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