Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Florida Couple Gets Naked In Cop’s Car

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

USA Today, ever the paragon of journalistic integrity (hardly), has reported on a young man and woman who were arrested around 11:30PM ET in Nassau County, FL for DUI.

The problem began while they were riding their bicycles.

According to Jordan Culver, writer of the article, an unnamed “Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw Megan Mondanaro, 35, and Aaron Seth Thomas, 31, riding bikes without lights on around 11:30 p.m. Friday in Fernandina Beach.”

According to the article published September 17, 2019, 6:49PM ET, “Both riders cut into the middle of the road and were nearly hit by a car, which led the deputy to conduct a traffic stop, according to the [Deputy’s] report.”

In the report, the Deputy wrote that when the pair was stopped, he “detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from both of them.”

The news story stated that the Deputy “also noted Mondanaro and Thomas both had bloodshot and watery eyes and were slurring their words.”

The story then states that the two were “arrested on DUI charges and placed in the back of the deputy’s patrol car.”

The arresting Deputy then searched Mr. Thomas’ backpack and found 7 full cans, and 1 empty can, of the alcoholic malt beverage “Four Loko.”

The arresting officer’s report then stated in part that, “While I was outside my patrol vehicle, Megan and Aaron took their clothes off and started to have sex. When I opened up the door to stop them, Aaron was naked and Megan had her pants down where her vaginal area was visible. I also observed her bra was halfway off and her breasts were fully visible.”

At that point, the story indicates that the Deputy removed Mr. Thomas from the patrol car, whereupon he escaped, and eluded another on-scene Deputy. The Deputy’s report stated that the suspect then fled behind a Cold Stone Creamery store, where he was apprehended, then taken to a local hospital for treatment, and then sent to the Nassau County Detention Center.

The Deputy’s report also stated that Ms. Mondanaro “became violent and started kicking at” another on-scene deputy while she was being removed into another patrol car, and was then “placed on the ground” to protect others from her. She too, was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and then to the Nassau County Detention Center.

While the pair were in custody at the Nassau County Detention Center, they were administered intoximeter tests (aka “breathalyzer”) and Ms. Mondanaro tested at 0.062% and 0.066%, while Mr. Thomas tested at 0.145% and 0.146%.

The arresting Deputy wrote in the report that, “It should be noted that the time delay from the stop to the breath test was three hours and 21 minutes.”

Presumably, the pair purchased their beverage of choice from Five Points Package Store, 2112 S 8th St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 – and that according to the Four Loko manufacturer’s website which has a “Find Now” feature on their website to locate the Chicago manufacture’s retail sales locations.

I predict – or, perhaps suggest – that most charges against them will (or, should) be dropped, based upon the fact that they were improperly charged to begin with.

In Florida, the state’s vehicle and DUI laws found in Florida Statues 2019 Chapter 322.01 identify and define that “(27) “Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle, including a motor vehicle combination, not operated upon rails or guideway, excluding vehicles moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchairs, and motorized bicycles as defined in s. 316.003.”

Further, Chapter 322 of Florida Statutes 2019 (state law) 322.01 Definitions, identifies “(44) “Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway or operated upon rails or guideway, except a bicycle, motorized wheelchair, or motorized bicycle.”

Florida Statute clearly exempts human-powered vehicles, and specifically exempts bicycles not just once, but twice in Chapter 322.

Florida Statutes Chapter 316 of Title XXIII define bicycle in 316.003 as “(4) BICYCLE.Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. A person under the age of 16 may not operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.”

Florida Statute also specifically considers bicycles and their operation in Chapter 316 beginning with “316.2065 Bicycle regulations.(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.”

Clearly, if the pair were intoxicated (and the officer’s report, and intoximeter, aka “breathalyzer” readings suggest they were), the only crime they could possibly be accused of it Public Intoxication – not DUI – for they were riding bicycles.

And state law specifically excludes human-powered vehicles from the state’s DUI laws. Further, operator impairment is not mentioned in the Bicycle Statute even when it states in paragraph (1) that “Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.”

If the law obliquely states in essence, that bicyclists must obey traffic laws (which is reasonable), then other wording would be more appropriate, and more specific. But to state that “all the rights and duties” does not include those which are specifically enumerated as “excluding vehicles moved solely by human power,” and “except for a bicycle.”

Further, all other offenses proceeding from the arrest should be dismissed, for they would not have occurred had the initial stop been precluded – having stemmed from the arrest.

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