Report: Callers alert police to drunken driver on University Ave.


Published: Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.

The first caller Saturday night told police that a man in a white van had sideswiped his vehicle, then driven off. The second caller said a van matching that description had nearly run her over. Moments later, a third caller said a white van was swerving as it headed west on University Avenue.

A Gainesville police officer soon found the van — clearly identifiable by the paw prints and the name Discount Pet Superstore on it — in the drive-thru lane at Checkers at 3325 W. University Ave., according to a Gainesville Police Department report.

The officer found the driver sound asleep with the engine still running, the report said. Colten Wayne Mann, 22, of 700 SW 62nd Blvd., apartment T207, failed field sobriety tests and was arrested.

Police said Mann was involved in the first crash at around 11:50 p.m., when he hit a car at 1800 NW Second Ave. with the van's driver's front side and kept going. A woman then called police to report that a van with paw prints on it nearly hit her before turning into the Westgate Shopping Center at West University Avenue and Southwest 34th Street.

At the same time, a caller said a van with Discount Pet Superstore on it had been weaving on West University Avenue near Gale Lemerand Drive.

A Gainesville police officer found the van at Checkers with Mann asleep at the wheel with the van in gear and the engine running, the report said.

A second officer arrived and saw Mann swaying and holding onto the van for support. Mann's breath smelled strongly of alcohol and his speech was slurred. The van had fresh damage on its front, the report said.

A Checkers employee said that Mann had remained in the drive-thru lane even after getting his order. She told him to move forward, which he did before falling asleep.

Mann told the officer he didn't know how he got to Checkers and that he had not been drinking. After failing field sobriety tests, Mann fell while trying to get into the police car and went to sleep in the back seat. At the jail, he lost his balance getting out of the car, fell against the car and rolled the length of the vehicle.

Mann's breath samples registered .185 and .195, more than twice the limit in which a person in Florida is presumed to be intoxicated.

Mann was arrested on a charge of DUI with damage to property and leaving the scene of an accident.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top