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The Villages

Golf cart driver who swerved to avoid cat arrested after crash in The Villages

Joshua Christopher West

A golf cart driver who said he swerved to avoid hitting a cat was arrested after a crash in The Villages.

Community Watch was flagged down by another golf  cart driver shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday after a red 1996 Yamaha golf cart was spotted on the thick hedges along the golf cart path on El Camino Real near the entrance to the Village of Santiago.

The driver was identified as 35-year-old Joshua Christopher West who lives in the Sherwood Villas in the Village of Chatham. He said he had been traveling from the Spanish Springs area when a cat ran across his path, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. To avoid hitting the cat, West swerved into the bushes.

His speech was slurred and he was “very talkative,” according to the report. His eyes were bloodshot and glassy. The Jacksonville native admitted he’d had two shots of Sailor Jerry Rum. A cold, empty can of Mike’s Harder Strawberry Lemonade was found in a cooler in the back of the golf cart.

West struggled through field sobriety exercises and blamed his poor performance on the fact he was “nervous.” He refused to provide a breath sample.

He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to a breath test. Because this was his third DUI arrest within a 10-year period, the DUI charge he is facing is a felony.

He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on $11,000 bond.

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