Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Holiday woman suspected of DUI claims she was trying to save a cat



HOLIDAY — A woman was arrested Thursday after, troopers say, she drunkenly plowed her car into an ambulance while trying to save a dead cat.

The ambulance was at a stop light on Grand Boulevard at Mile Stretch Drive around 11 p.m. The three firefighters inside were headed back to the station after a call. Michelle Tamara Reyes ran a red light in a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria, lost control trying to turn left onto Grand and T-boned the ambulance, a Florida Highway Patrol report states. Reyes, 37, jumped out and dashed away.

The firefighters were taken to Medical Center of Trinity, where they were treated for bumps and bruises and released, said Pasco Fire Rescue training chief Andrew Fossa, who was on call that night.

A Pasco sheriff's deputy nabbed Reyes in a nearby Family Dollar parking lot. A trooper asked her what happened and she explained, "I was trying to save a dead cat, that is the only reason I'm driving," according to the report. "I just lost control trying to find somewhere to save the cat in my car."

When the trooper asked why she ran away, Reyes said her car was still there, so it didn't count as leaving. She refused a Breathalyzer test, then changed her story to say she wasn't driving and was never in an accident, the report states. The trooper saw a dead cat on the front floorboard of her Ford. Covered in bugs, the trooper wrote, the cat appeared to have died hours before.

Reyes, of 5144 Forest Hill Road, was arrested on charges of driving with a suspended license, DUI with property damage and fleeing the scene of a crash. She remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Friday in lieu of $6,000 bail.

Two of the firefighters have been cleared to go back to work Sunday, Fossa said. The third will be cleared to work pending a follow-up exam. The ambulance had moderate damaged.

It was unclear Friday afternoon what became of the cat.

Holiday woman suspected of DUI claims she was trying to save a cat 06/21/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 8:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker


    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Roosevelt Blvd closed at I-275 after truck hauling crane hits overpass


    ST. PETERSBURG — A truck transporting a construction crane hit the Interstate 275 overpass at Roosevelt Boulevard Tuesday.

  3. Pasco students, 12 and 15, faces weapons, threat charges


    Two Pasco County students from different schools were arrested Tuesday after one brought weapons onto campus and the other threatened a shooting, according to sheriff's deputies.

  4. It's official: Hillsborough high schools move to 8:30 a.m. start time, elementary schools to go earlier


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County high schools will start an hour later next year, beginning the day at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 3:25 p.m., the School Board decided Tuesday in a 6-0 vote.

    The Hillsborough County School Board has decided to end a compressed bus schedule that caused an estimated 12,000 children to get to school late every day. Under the new schedule, high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools will start at 7:40 a.m. and middle schools at 9:25 a.m. [Times files]