A wrestling star at The Villages High School received his diploma on Saturday days after a drug arrest.
Ethan Riley Hatcher, 18, of Wildwood, was among the green-gowned students graduating Saturday in a ceremony in which social distancing was practiced.
Hatcher was free on bond at the time of the ceremony.
He had been arrested May 17 after his black Ford pickup was pulled over at 2:43 p.m. in the parking lot of Darrel’s Diner at U.S. 301 and County Road 462 in Wildwood, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He was stopped for running a stop sign.
When a deputy approached the pickup, he “smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana emitting from the vehicle,” the report said.
Hatcher admitted he did not have a medical marijuana card. A search turned up a pen with a brown liquid narcotic which field tested positive for marijuana THC. There was also marijuana in the vehicle.
Hatcher was arrested on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. He was taken into custody and booked at the Sumter County Detention Center.
Hatcher has retained criminal defense attorney Jaimie Washo Spivey. She has entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf, according to Sumter County Court records. Spivey is also representing local fitness trainer Summer Yoder who was found in January unconscious behind the wheel of a Chevrolet SUV. She was in possession of 32.7 grams of THC oil, an arrest report said.
Hatcher appears to have no prior criminal history. He paid a $166 traffic ticket in January for running a stop sign last year, Sumter County Court records indicate.
Two 2017 graduates of The Villages High School were arrested in April on drug charges:
• Monica Racy, a student at the University of South Florida, was apprehended with a cache of drugs including 60 bags of hallucinogenic mushrooms. The former clinical research assistant said she was in Sumter County on the way to her mother’s house.