HOLIDAY - A woman who claimed she was on the way to an animal hospital to "save a dead cat" was charged with DUI involving property damage after she crashed into a Pasco County Fire Rescue ambulance, injuring three firefighter/paramedics, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.
The dead cat was found on the right front floorboard of her car, an arrest report said.
Michelle Tamara Reyes, 5144 Forest Hills Road, Holiday, who reportedly ran from the scene when a sheriff's deputy arrived, also faces charges of failing to remain at a crash involving injury and driving with a revoked license, the report said.
Reyes, 37, was being held Friday in the Land O' Lakes Jail with bail set at $6,000.
The firefighter/paramedics were treated for injuries at the Medical Center of Trinity. The extent of their injuries was not available.
The crash happened about 10:15 p.m. Thursday on Grand Boulevard, just north of Mile Stretch Drive in Holiday, the arrest report said. The sheriff's deputy said he saw Reyes leave her vehicle and run toward a Family Dollar store parking lot, the report said. The deputy chased her and caught her in the parking lot, the report said.
He smelled alcohol on her breath and reported that she told him, "I was trying to find an animal hospital to save a dead cat," the report said.
An FHP trooper who later arrived at the scene also smelled alcohol on Reyes' breath, and also reported she made reference to the cat, first saying, "I was trying to save a dead cat, that is the only reason I'm driving," then adding, "I just lost control trying to find somewhere to save the cat in my car."
When the trooper, who said Reyes also was slurring her speech, asked if she had been drinking before the crash, she replied, "Yeah, I normally don't drive; what would you do if you saw this cat?" the arrest report said.
Later, though, Reyes denied driving or having been involved in the accident, the report said.
A records check revealed Reyes had a revoked driver's license with 14 suspensions on it, including one for DUI, the arrest report said.