Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Captain A.J. O’Laughlin is on leave following a DUI arrest on November 9. He faces a DUI charge after he refused to take a breath test. He was released from Palm Beach County on his own recognizance on November 10. It is unclear if he has hired an attorney.
According to the arrest report, police were informed about a reckless driver along Federal Highway near Boynton Beach Boulevard on November 9. A witness told police that a Ford pickup truck ran a red light, cut in front of other vehicles, and almost ran into a utility pole.
Boynton Beach police officers saw a pickup truck fitting the description making a U-turn on Federal Highway and pulled over the driver, who was identified as O’Laughlin. The officers noted that O’Laughlin, 50, had glassy eyes and slurred speech, and that his vehicle had a strong odor of alcohol. He wasn’t wearing shoes and swayed on his feet when he stepped out of his vehicle, the report said.
O’Laughlin reportedly refused to perform field sobriety exercises and did not consent to a breath test. He insisted the officers arrest him as he hurled insults at them, sources allege. Police found an open beer can inside his truck and four white capsules, the report said.
O’Laughlin was arrested on suspicion of DUI and taken to a holding cell. Video footage released by police shows him urinating on the cell floor before laying on a bench. In the video, O’Laughlin can be seen falling off the bench and injuring himself. Paramedics were called to treat him and he was transported to a hospital for additional treatment.
A spokesperson for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue told news sources that O’Laughlin has worked as a county firefighter for 25 years. He is captain in Battalion Three. It is unclear if the arrest will affect his employment with the agency.
Another DUI incident was reported in Miami Beach on November 17. Oliver Antonio Reyes of Miami Beach, Florida was arrested on DUI charges after he allegedly struck a cyclist while under the influence of alcohol. Reyes faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence, DUI causing property damage, and DUI causing serious bodily injury. It is unclear if he has acquired legal representation.
According to the arrest report, the alleged crash occurred on Dade Boulevard on November 17. Reyes was westbound on Dade Boulevard when he struck Carlos Garcia, who was on a bicycle. Garcia suffered severe injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in serious condition. Reyes was not hurt.
“At approximately 8 this morning, we received a 911 call indicating that a cyclist had been struck by a vehicle,” Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said in a statement. “Upon officers’ arrival and the Miami Beach Fire Department, the victim was transported by the fire department to Jackson Ryder Trauma in serious condition but is expected to survive.”
Reyes remained at the scene of the crash and cooperated with police, the report said.