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Friday, July 29, 2022

Driver arrested after fleeing potential ticket for parking in handicapped spot

Christopher James Hoxie
Christopher James Hoxie

A Leesburg man profanely raging after he jammed an ATM was arrested after he drove away from an officer trying to ticket him for parking in a handicap spot at the bank.

Christopher James Hoxie, 47, of 11325 Circle Way, was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement after the incident, which happened Wednesday afternoon at the Wells Fargo branch at 350 E. Burleigh Ave. in Tavares.

A Tavares police officer responded to the bank in reference to a report of an irate customer. Upon arrival, the officer learned that Hoxie had tried to deposit $3,700 in cash into the ATM and jammed it because the stack of bills was too thick. After the issue was determined to be Hoxie’s fault, it was explained how the bank would fix the issue, according to the police report.

When Hoxie was blamed for the incident, he became irate and started calling two officers names. Hoxie was walking towards his red Kia Soul when one of the officers noticed it was parked in a handicap spot clearly marked with blue lines and a sign. While Hoxie was getting into his vehicle, a black female walked past him and he called her a racial slur. When the officer told him there was no reason to talk that way, Hoxie responded, “(expletive) you,” the report said.

The officer asked Hoxie if he had a handicap placard and Hoxie responded, “Go (expletive) yourself.” The officer told Hoxie their interaction was now a traffic stop and to sit tight. The officer tapped on the window to get Hoxie’s attention but he ignored it. Hoxie then started backing out of the parking spot while refusing to comply with the officer’s order to stop. At one point he cut the wheel to the right, causing the vehicle to almost strike the officer, according to the report.

Hoxie ran a stop sign as he exited the bank parking lot. Police followed him on St. Claire Abrams Avenue, onto Clifford Street, St. Clair Abrams Avenue again and then Burleigh Boulevard before he finally pulled over. Once out of his vehicle, Hoxie first refused to place his hands behind his back but eventually complied. He told officers his license was on the front seat, and when an officer retrieved it, he observed an empty travel-size bottle of Smirnoff vodka and an unopened bottle of the same size and brand of liquor on the floorboard, the report said.

In addition to being arrested for fleeing and eluding, Hoxie was issued citations for having an open container and illegally parking in a handicap spot. He was taken to the Lake County Jail, where posted $5,000 bond and was released Wednesday evening. Hoxie is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Aug. 22.

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