A High Springs man is accused of child abuse after he allegedly drove under the influence of alcohol with two children in his car.
John Clayton Golden was arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse and drunk driving Tuesday night, according to a High Springs Police Department report.
High Springs PD was called to Great Outdoors Restaurant, located at 18587 High Springs Main St., to respond to reports of a customer who had become belligerent and rude, the report said. An officer saw Golden quickly leaving the restaurant and driving in the direction of North U.S. Highway 27 in a maroon Jeep.
Golden continued driving until the responding officer lost track of him. However, another officer noticed the car on NW 222nd Street and later turning east on Railroad Avenue, the report said. A witness also flagged police down and told them a maroon Jeep headed into their neighborhood swerving while its tires screeched.
The witness told police they saw two children without seatbelts in the backseat, the report said. The car was going about 70 to 80 mph. The witness also said the Jeep headed to an open field, where it was located by High Springs PD.
Golden appeared to have watery, bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol, the report said. He was standing outside his car with two young kids. The report said the youngest child was 3, and no car seats were found in the car.
The original officer who responded to the Great Outdoors Restaurant recognized Golden as the man leaving the restaurant’s parking lot, the report said.
High Springs PD conducted a DUI investigation where Golden refused to talk, the report said. Police took Golden to the police department where officers conducted a 20-minute observation. Golden didn’t talk or consent to a breath sample.
Golden was released from Alachua County Jail Wednesday afternoon awaiting trial.