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Man caught with marijuana after allegedly ripping side mirror off ruck

A Leesburg man was arrested on battery and drug charges after ripping the mirror off a truck and later being caught with marijuana. 

Francisco Dee Castillo
Francisco Dee Castillo

A deputy responded to the area of County Road 702 and Southeast 88th Boulevard regarding a vehicle accident around 6:45 p.m. Friday, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. 

Upon arrival, the deputy observed a grey Volkswagen Tiguan parked behind a green Toyota Highlander. Both vehicles were facing west. The deputy was first approached by the occupants of the Volkswagen, identified as 29-year-old Francisco Dee Castillo who was the driver and a female who was the front seat passenger, the report said. 

Both informed the deputy they were traveling eastbound with a truck in front of them. They advised that the truck had to swerve to miss the aforementioned Toyota, at which time they also swerved. However, the driver’s side mirrors to both vehicles collided due to the Toyota traveling too far towards the middle of the road, the report said. 

There were four occupants in the Toyota. The driver, or the victim, advised that after the collision of the two mirrors, Castillo ran up to his vehicle and screamed at him. The victim advised he was punching his hands into fists and making a motion of slitting a throat, the report said. 

The victim spoke Spanish only and could not fully understand Castillo, but he believed violence was about to take place due to his words, actions and demeanor. He thought Castillo was going to kill him and understood him to say something about if he had a weapon, he would use it on the victim, the report said. 

The victim further advised that his driver’s side mirror was intact with the exception of the glass portion. Castillo then ripped the mirror off with his hands before throwing it into the ditch. The deputy spotted the mirror in the ditch about 10 feet away from the vehicle, the report said. 

While speaking to Castillo again, he admitted to ripping off the victim’s mirror and stated it was already partially knocked off. He also admitted it was wrong to do so. He explained that he was angry and had issues controlling his anger, so rather than punching someone, he took his anger out on the mirror. He conceded that he punched his fists and made the throat slashing gesture while understanding how those actions could be perceived as threatening, the report said. 

The passenger who was with Castillo also stated that she saw him ripping the mirror off. She advised that she had to yell at Castillo to get him to calm down and get away from the other vehicle. Her statement was corroborated by the three other occupants in the victim’s Toyota, the report said. 

Additionally, during the conversation with the passenger, the deputy smelled an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. She and Castillo denied having medical marijuana prescriptions, but Castillo advised that he did smoke marijuana earlier which could have been the source of the smell, the report said. 

Castillo was subsequently placed under arrest for damaging the mirror, valued at less than $200, and for simple assault. He overheard the deputy talking about searching the vehicle and spontaneously informed him that there was marijuana, including marijuana wax, inside the vehicle. He also explained where the narcotics were inside the vehicle, the report said. 

Inside of the trunk, the deputy found a white zippered bag containing less than 20 grams of a green leafy substance in a white plastic container, a rubber container with a waxy substance and an edible chocolate bar with packing stating it contained THC. He also located a loose suspected marijuana blunt behind the passenger side taillight and a small plastic baggie containing more suspected marijuana behind the driver’s side taillight, the report said. 

The green leafy substance, waxy substance and chocolate bar all tested positive for the presence of THC. The total prepackaged weight for the leafy marijuana was 15 grams, the report said. 

Castillo was ultimately charged with damaged property (criminal mischief $200 and under), simple assault (intent threat to do violence), possession of controlled substance without prescription, possession of marijuana (less than 20 grams) and possession or use of drug equipment. He was transported to the Sumter County Detention Center with bond set at $5,000 and later released.

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