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. Pepin daughters to take on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Human Interest

    About seven years ago, Tom Pepin and his four daughters stood at 12,000 feet, overlooking the Colorado Rockies during an outward bound survival training mission.

    From left, Christina Pepin, Lauren Pepin (Tom’s Wife), Cassie Pepin, Allie Pepin, Bella Pepin and Tom Pepin take a break during an outward bound survival training mission in Colorado.
  2. Music, memories, friendships lend energy to 'Senior Prom'


    RIVERVIEW — Mesmerizing music mixed with the mingling of friends to energize and engage a congregation of old souls Thursday (June 22).

    Louise Goff of Brandon does line dances during the annual Senior Prom hosted by Hillsborough County Aging Services at the Regent in Brandon.
  3. Tampa's two 'Olivias' maintain friendship as they vie for Miss Florida


    TAMPA — Olivia Butler, referring to a Biblical passage, assesses her burgeoning friendship with Olivia Fiss as "iron sharpening iron."

    Olivia Butler, left, and Olivia Fiss are two friends who are competing together in the Miss Florida pageant as Miss Tampa and Miss St. Petersburg.
  4. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times