A Leesburg man with multiple prior DUI convictions was arrested on a warrant more than a year after he reportedly tried to claim a drunk-driving accident happened because he had been robbed.
Douglas Alan Harvey, 58, is being held in the Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond after being charged with DUI (fourth or subsequent offense) in connection with a crash on Oct. 14, 2001, near the intersection of McCormack and Center streets in Leesburg.
Leesburg police responded to the wreck and found Harvey’s maroon 2010 Ford truck partially submerged in water in a ditch. A reflective sign was off its post after being struck by the truck, according to the police report.
Harvey frantically claimed he had been robbed by a man named “Buck” and he crashed because he was fleeing the robber. However, he later said he was following the suspect. Due to Harvey’s erratic behavior, officers never receive clarification, the report said.
There were several other inconsistencies in Harvey’s story. He originally said his wallet was stolen, and when an officer pointed out the wallet in his back pocket, Harvey said it was his “other wallet.” He later said nothing was stolen, according to the report.
Harvey was unable to provide an address, vehicle description or description of the alleged assailant. He said “Buck” had robbed him twice before, the report said.
The officer observed Harvey’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred, and he swayed while standing. He struggled to stay on task when recounting the events in chronological order. Harvey’s only injuries were minor scratches on his arms, which he said he received during the crash, according to the report.
The officer believed Harvey was intoxicated and that the robbery allegations were an attempt to steer the investigation away from a DUI. Harvey was taken by Lake EMS to UF Health Leesburg. On Oct. 19, 2021, the investigating officer sent two subpoenas to the State Attorney’s office requesting all medical records for Harvey dated Oct. 14, 2021, from Lake EMS and the hospital, the report said.
On Jan. 20, 2022, the officer received the reports from UF Health Leesburg, which stated Harvey was diagnosed with “acute alcohol intoxication.” Harvey’s blood-alcohol level was .235, which is nearly three times the legal limit, according to the report.
A warrant for Harvey’s arrest was issued Jan. 25, 2022, and he was finally arrested on Wednesday. He is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Jan. 3, 2023.