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The Villages

Villager wearing one-piece bathing suit arrested at Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Meridith Manning

A Villager wearing only a one-piece blue bathing suit was arrested at Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Lady Lake police received a complaint at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday about the driver of a sport utility vehicle almost causing a head-on collision in the parking lot of the restaurant in Rolling Acres Plaza. The 78-year-old Villager who made the complaint said he saw the woman, wearing only the blue one-piece swimsuit, get out of the SUV and walk into the restaurant.

Police located a black 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada at the restaurant with the keys in the ignition and the engine still running, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department.

An officer went into the restaurant and found 46-year-old Meridith Manning, who lives at 102 Costa Mesa Drive in the Village of La Zamora, leaning against the wall between the hostess area and the bar. Her eyes were watery and bloodshot and she had “the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating” from her, the report said.

Police asked the New York native to participate in field sobriety exercises, but she said she would only do so if her lawyer was present. Manning then asked if she could call her mother or “resolve this in another way.”

Manning was transported to the Lady Lake Police Department for a breath test. She refused to provide a breath sample without a lawyer present. She again asked police to call her mother.

An empty bottle of Hydrocodone was found in the center console of her SUV.

She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and booked at the Lake County Jail.

Manning had been ticketed on a charge of careless driving after an accident at 5:04 a.m. Aug. 9 on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 near Griffin View Drive. She had been attempting a U-turn into right-of-way traffic when the crash occurred.

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