OKEECHOBEE — A four-door Dodge Charger was found in a ditch just before midnight Saturday, April 11. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Vuleta responded to the 20700 block of U.S. 441 North after dispatch was notified Emergency Medical Services had located the vehicle in the ditch and that the driver was attempting to drive away.
When Deputy Vuleta arrived, he reportedly found the driver, Israel Chilel-Lopez, 25, in front of the vehicle crying and talking on a cellphone. He noticed the vehicle was still running and two alcoholic beverage were on the ground near the vehicle.
He spoke to EMS personnel R. Farmer and Lt. D. Kinchen, and they said they spotted the car in the ditch and stopped to make sure the driver was OK. Chilel-Lopez exited the vehicle and appeared to be intoxicated. They said he took the keys out of the ignition and tried to hand them over. He then took two bottles open bottles of alcohol out of the vehicle and threw them on the ground. As they waited for law enforcement to arrive, they said Chilel-Lopez got back into the car to drive away but was unsuccessful.
Chilel-Lopez was reportedly unwilling to do any roadside exercises and attempted to walk away, staggering and walking very close to the highway, so he was restrained for his own safety. The report notes, he refused to give a breath sample.
He was charged with DUI, driving without a license and resisting arrest without violence. Bond was set at $2,000.