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Pasco man celebrates 2 hours of freedom between arrests

A Port Richey man was taken to jail Sunday evening after a drunken disturbance at a neighbor's house. He was released on his own recognizance a few hours later.

The night was still young.

He was arrested again after deputies say he tried to break into two cars — in the visitor parking lot at the Land O'Lakes jail. He wasn't released the second time.

Sheriff's deputies initially found Donald Gartner, 48, crawling out from under the bushes at his neighbor's house on Rosewood Drive in Jasmine Lakes about 6:30 p.m. His shorts were on backwards and low on his hips. A witness complained he was urinating on the bushes.

According to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrest report, he was "extremely intoxicated" and admitted to drinking six beers and taking six Oxycodone pills. He was arrested for criminal mischief after a witness saw him bang on the neighbor's doors and shake a porch light until the glass panels fell out and broke. The witness also saw Gartner pull the light's electrical wires out of the wall.

Deputies said Gartner told them he was looking for cans of paint in the bushes, then changed his story and said he was trying to replace the porch light.

Fast forward to 10 p.m. Gartner was released from the Land O'Lakes jail and went to the visitor parking lot to wait for a ride.

A woman drove up and left her 2003 Acura in the lot. Gartner, she said, went up to the car and tried to open the door. She yelled at him to get away. He said he thought it was his car.

He tried again, this time with a 2002 Mitsubishi. A sheriff's lieutenant watched the second attempt and called detention deputies. Gartner was arrested at 11:45 p.m. — less than two hours after he was released. He remained in jail Monday afternoon on two counts of attempted car theft, with bail set at $10,000.

After his second arrest, Gartner said he hoped a deputy was "not mad at him for attempting to get into the cars."

Lee Logan can be reached at or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco man celebrates 2 hours of freedom between arrests 10/03/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 3, 2011 10:25pm]
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