A well-known Villages podiatrist facing a drunk driving charge has hired a successful Lake County criminal defense attorney to represent him.
Dr. Felix Esarey, 49, who resides in the Villages of Parkwood and runs Tri-County Podiatry in The Villages, was arrested in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving. He had been driving a black Nissan pickup shortly after midnight on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 at Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fruitland Park when he failed to maintain a single lane, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
During a traffic stop, a deputy found that Esarey’s eyes were “red, bloodshot and glassy” and his speech was “slurred.” The deputy asked Esarey if he had been drinking.
“He would not answer but instead asked me to call him a ride to come pick him up,” the deputy wrote in his report.
The deputy asked the doctor to participate in field sobriety exercises. Esarey refused to do so, even after the deputy explained the potential consequences of refusal. He was then placed under arrest for DUI. Esarey refused to provide a breath sample.
He remains free on $1,000 bond.
He has retained well-known attorney Jaimie Washo. Their next date on the court calendar is a Jan. 8 plea negotiation conference.
Washo has represented numerous clients through the years, including Palmer Legends golf pro Mark Verkey in 2014 after he was arrested on a drunk driving charge after leaving BikeFest in Leesburg. Two of her clients, a Village of Hillsborough man accused of stealing a wallet and a Buffalo Adventures after-school employee accused of child cruelty, were able to escape prosecution in their respective cases. Earlier this year, Washo negotiated a deal in which a Village of Sabal Chase woman accused of egging her ex-boyfriend’s house went to detox rather than face prosecution.