The following is told from the perspective of the responding officer. All information is from the corresponding police affidavit.
“On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at approximately 12:40 p.m., Officers were dispatched to US 27 and SR 50 in reference to a vehicle crash. While en route Lake County dispatch advised that one of the vehicles had fled the scene. Corporal Martin arrived on scene at 12:43 p.m. and located a Ford SUV with disabling rear bumper damage. ”
“Corporal Martin advised over the radio that there was green paint transfer from the vehicle that fled the scene. The driver of this vehicle was transported to South Lake Hospital with a head injury from striking his windshield.”
“At 12:44 p.m., Sgt. Bloom observed a green Dodge Neon passenger car with significant front end damage stopped on a service road connecting to US 27. This location is one block from the crash site. This vehicle was facing the ‘Wrong direction on the service road.'”
“Upon my arrival, Sgt. Bloom. stated that the driver, Armando Melendez, was confused. Sgt. Bloom had pulled directly in front of Melendez’s vehicle in his fully marked Clermont Police Department issued pick-up truck. Sgt. Bloom stated that Melendez had a blank stare and did not appear to realize he was there. Sgt. Bloom approached the driver door and made contact with Melendez who still had not noticed him.”
“Melendez was read his Miranda Warning and agreed to speak with me. He stated that an unknown vehicle struck him as he was driving through an intersection. He then stated that this other vehicle ran a red light and then left the scene. He also stated that his vehicle drove here until the power steering went out.”
“Melendez’s version of the crash was no way consistent with what happened. The vehicle that was struck had transfer paint that matched Melendez’s vehicle. I completed the crash investigation and found that Melendez rear-ended an SUV in the right lane of US 27, approximately 200 feet North of Hooks Street. Due to damage of both vehicles, Melendez would have known he struck something and that it was possible someone could be injured. It should be noted that Melendez did not stop at a WAWA gas station which was near the crash or call 911.”
“While speaking with Melendez I noticed he had bloodshot and glassy eyes.
When running Melendez through dispatch and ELVIS system, it was found that his license was suspended out of New York in 2002 for an unpaid ticket. Melendez had knowledge of his suspension.”
“Melendez was placed under arrest for leaving the scene and driving while license was suspended with knowledge and transported to the main jail in Tavares. While enroute I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Melendez. Upon arriving, I requested that he provide a breath sample on a portable breath test instrument to determine if there was a presence of alcohol, I explained that this was not a valid breath sample that would be required by the state if he was charged with DUI.”
“He stated he understood and agreed and the sample was positive for alcohol. I requested that he do FSE’s and he agreed to. Based on the totality of the events and his behavior I added the charge of DUI and requested that he provide a breath sample to which he agreed. Melendez provided two samples of .262 and .250 after a twenty minute waiting period.”
“Melendez was issued a citation for leaving the scene, driving under the influence and driving while license was suspended with knowledge.”