A flight attendant was charged with DUI after police found her passed out behind the wheel of her Mercedes in a Walmart parking lot.
A Fruitland Park police officer responded around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday to the Leesburg store, located at 2501 Citrus Blvd., and saw a white Mercedes with the driver’s car wide open in corner of the parking lot. The officer found 50-year-old Lakisha Evett Thigpen reclined in the driver’s seat, according to the arrest report.
The keys to the vehicle were next to the center console, within Thigpen’s reach, and the car had a push-button ignition. The officer also found two bracelets on the ground outside the vehicle, next to driver’s side door, the report said.
The officer tried to awaken Thigpen, who claimed she works for a major airline, to see if she needed medical attention. After about 45 seconds to a minute of calling for her and shining a light into the vehicle, she woke up, looked around and appeared confused, according to the report.
Thigpen said she was OK and not in distress. However, the officer immediately noticed a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the vehicle and getting stronger as Thigpen spoke. She also had slurred speech and kept repeating the same statements. Thigpen was asked to get out of the vehicle, and the officer observed her eyes were glassy and watery with droopy eyelids, the report said.
Thigpen braced herself on the driver’s side door as she got out of the car and used the roof of the vehicle to steady herself. Once away from the vehicle, Thigpen swayed in a circular motion as she stood and appeared unsteady on her feet, according to the report.
After performing poorly in a series of field sobriety exercises, Thigpen was placed under arrest and taken to the Lake County Jail. A breath-alcohol test returned readings of .0160 and .0161, which is twice the legal limit, the report said.
Upon arrival at the jail, Thigpen became extremely belligerent and kept telling the officer to stop talking to her. She refused to speak with the officer but repeatedly asked if her Federal Aviation Administration license was going to be taken away. She repeated herself multiple times after being given an answer, according to the report.
Thigpen was released from jail after posting $1,000 bond.