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Man accused of driving despite 15-year ban is jailed in Tampa

TAMPA — Emilio Santacruz wasn't supposed to drive, and now he's in jail because authorities say he did.

In 2002, Santacruz had a seizure while driving. He crashed into the Bob Hatton Prudential Realty office in South Tampa, killing 79-year-old Angie Talty.

Prosecutors say a doctor had warned him not to drive. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and agreed to not get behind the wheel for 15 years, court records show.

But last week, the St. Petersburg Times obtained records that indicated Santacruz, 40, was living in Miami and had a valid driver's license, which he obtained in 2008 by providing a different last name.

He had used the license. In 2009, authorities cited him for speeding in Miami-Dade County. In 2010, he cut off another vehicle, state records show.

Meanwhile, he met monthly with a probation officer, who would have reminded Santacruz not to drive, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.

Authorities issued a warrant, and on Thursday, Santacruz turned himself in at Tampa's George E. Edgecomb Courthouse.

Held without bail, he faces a charge of violating probation for his vehicular homicide conviction. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

State officials have since merged his two driving records, so his 2008 license is no longer valid. New information obtained Friday indicates that Santacruz used the name "Emilio Santa Cruz Galdo" to obtain that license.

His attorney, Lyann Goudie of Tampa, declined to comment.

Times news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Man accused of driving despite 15-year ban is jailed in Tampa 11/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 4, 2011 10:40pm]
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