Neil R. Puterbaugh of Greenacres, Florida was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of crashing his friend’s car, then leaving the scene of the accident, sources say. Puterbaugh’s passenger, 32-year-old John Gardner, and the other driver, 29-year-old Omar Leslie, sustained minor injuries in the crash and were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. Puterbaugh, 39, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of battery, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, and driving with a suspended license. His bail bond was set at $19,000. The press did not specify an attorney for Puterbaugh.
According to reports, Gardner and Puterbaugh were friends prior to the incident. The pair was headed somewhere together, and Gardner allowed Puterbaugh to drive his father’s Toyota Corolla. Puterbaugh was traveling in the 5700 block of South 38th Street when he and Gardner got into a verbal argument. It is unclear what sparked the argument; however, at some point, Puterbaugh allegedly reached over and punched Gardner in the face. As Puterbaugh was reportedly striking Gardner in the face, he crashed into Leslie’s car.
Gardner and Puterbaugh reportedly exited the vehicle and continued to argue with one another following the accident. Puterbaugh then allegedly fled the scene on foot. Gardner checked on Leslie and then chased after Puterbaugh, reports say. Leslie and Gardner were later taken to the JFK Medical Center for treatment for minor injuries.
Detectives talked to Gardner outside of Puterbaugh’s residence on South 38th Street. When questioned about the accident, Gardner said that Puterbaugh hit him in the face prior to the collision. A witness of the crash also told police that Puterbaugh was driving at the time of the accident, sources suggest.
Following these tips, detectives arrested Puterbaugh at his mother’s house on Tuesday, sources indicate. As police were escorting from the home, Puterbaugh allegedly said, “I [screwed] up.” It was not immediately clear whether Puterbaugh was injured.
In other news, a driver in Palm Beach Gardens was injured in a rollover accident on Friday, press reports indicate. Information regarding the victim’s identity was not immediately available following the crash; he or she was air-rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident; as of now, it is unclear whether speed or alcohol played a role.
According to reports, the accident occurred around 11:00 Friday evening in the northbound lanes of Beeline Highway in Palm Beach Gardens. The exact details of the collision are not yet clear. Reports suggest, though, that police arrived on the scene and found the victim’s vehicle upside down in a ditch next to the road.
The victim was extricated from the vehicle and taken via helicopter to St. Mary’s Medical Center’s emergency room. An update on the extent of the victim’s injuries was not immediately available, and no other injuries were reported in connection to the crash. Both lanes of Beeline Highway were closed for around 15 minutes while the helicopter landed and rushed the victim away from the scene.