Man accused of crashing into a patrol car while drunk with kids in car


A man drunkenly drove his pickup truck into the back of a patrol while three children were in the back Sunday night, troopers said.

At about 7:15 p.m., an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputy was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Southwest 75th St. and Southwest Eighth Ave. when Tony Johnson, 50, of Gainesville, crashed into the back of the patrol car, according to a Florida Highway Patrol arrest report.

The deputy began to chase him and stopped Johnson in the Sparrow Condominiums parking lot, at 607 SW 75th St., the report said. Three children between ages of 3 and 5 years old were in the pickup truck without a seatbelt. One of them complained of a head injury.

Johnson’s pickup truck had damage to its front, the report said. A trooper noticed Johnson smelled like alcohol and had bloodshot, glassy eyes.

His breath samples were twice the legal drinking limit, the report said.

The deputy was not injured and the patrol car had minor damages, said Lt. Brett Rhodenizer, a sheriff’s office spokesperson.

Johnson was charged with three counts of DUI, two counts of DUI with damage to property, leaving the scene of a crash involving damage to property, having a license plate not assigned, driving without a license and failing to register a motor vehicle, the report said.

Johnson remains in the Alachua County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.

Katherine Wallace-Fernandez, 20, covers crime and breaking news for The Alligator and is a third year English major from Miami, Fl. She likes avoiding homework, taking naps, playing on her Nintendo Switch and reading.