76-year-old man arrested on driving under the influence charge after mistaking deputy for ‘someone shady’

A 76-year-old man was arrested Monday on a charge of driving under the influence in Marion County.

John Retiko
John Rekito

A  Marion County sheriff’s K-9 deputy was traveling westbound on east State Road 40 when he observed a turquoise Ford Taurus turn west on East SR 40 from SE 184 Ave. Road in front of him, according to an arrest report. The deputy advised that he had to hit his brakes to avoid an accident. The driver of the Ford then put on his vehicle’s flashers and began to increase speed, in which the deputy clocked the vehicle’s speed at 63 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. The deputy activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop, and the Ford eventually came to a stop on SE 169 Terrace Road.

The deputy made contact with the driver, John Joseph Rekito of Silver Springs, and stated that Rekito did not seem to recognize that the deputy was there, the report stated. While speaking with Rekito, the deputy noticed the driver’s eyes to be bloodshot and watery, and called for assistance.

Upon the assisting deputy’s arrival, he made contact with Rekito and could smell a moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, along with a strong odor coming from the vehicle’s exhaust. Rekito stated that he thought that the K-9 deputy’s patrol car was “someone shady behind him,” which is why he turned on his flashers. When asked if he had drank alcohol, Rekito stated he was exhausted and had a little sample. As deputies tried to talk to him, Rekito would reportedly talk over or avoid the question. The driver told deputies he had a “little tiny bottle” and took a “little drink” when asked what he had to drink. He then handed deputies a 100 milliliter of 99 proof black cherry liquor, which was three quarters full, and a second unopened bottle. Rekito told deputies he drank what was missing from the cherry liquor 20 minutes before.

Rekito was asked to exit the vehicle and had trouble following simple instructions, according to the report. He refused to participate in field sobriety exercises and stated he would walk home. He then said he was going to get a hold of his lawyer. Rekito was placed under arrest and transported to Marion County Jail. He provided blood alcohol content samples that registered 0.000 and 0.000, then provided a urine sample.

Bond was set at $1,000.