Ferrero arrested on DUI charge

Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

The founder of a foundation that raises money for a children's hospital at UF Health Shands in honor of his late son was arrested on a DUI charge early Wednesday morning.

Horst Ferrero of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation was booked into the Alachua County jail at 1:27 a.m. Ferrero, 39, of 671 SW 134th Way, was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Ferrero and his wife, Luisa, started the foundation in 2007 after receiving an $850,000 settlement from Shands HealthCare following the death of their 3-year-old son, Sebastian, as the result of a medication overdose and other preventable medical errors.

The arrest report by deputy Christopher Privette states that at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday he responded to a call from a resident living on Southwest Third Avenue near Ferrero's home about a suspicious vehicle in her driveway.

Privette found the SUV with its lights on and engine running. The driver -- Ferrero -- was breathing but did not respond to knocks on the window, the Sheriff's Office said. His foot was on the brake and the SUV was in drive, deputies said.

Eventually, Ferrero awakened after harder knocks by Privette, the report states. Ferrero reportedly took his foot off the brake and the SUV began rolling toward the house.

“I began yelling at him to put his foot on the brake and told him to put the car in park,” Privette wrote in the report. “He stopped the car and then turned on the windshield wipers and sprayed fluid on the windshield. I was able to direct him to the shifter and told him to put it in park and (he) switched it into reverse and began to roll backwards.”

Privette was eventually able to get the SUV in park by reaching across Ferrero, the report states.

Ferrero smelled of alcohol, staggered as he walked and performed poorly on a field sobriety test, Privette wrote in the arrest report. Ferrero refused to provide a breath sample.

Florida's Implied Consent Law says that by possessing a Florida driver's license you have agreed to take a blood, urine or breath test if requested by law enforcement who suspects you're under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The sheriff's report states that Ferrero told Privette he had eaten at the Sabore restaurant in the Tioga Town Center and had two glasses of wine with dinner, then went to the Fluid Lounge at Tioga and had two vodka drinks.

Ferrero owns Tioga Town Center.

The foundation raises funds for the UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. Its sixth annual Noche de Gala black-tie fundraiser last month raised more than $3 million.

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