A father and daughter were arrested during a raid at their home in The Villages.
Anthony Louis Malara, 72, and his daughter, 46-year-old Tara Malara, were taken into custody Tuesday morning at their home at 3089 Glenwood Place in the Village of Glenbrook.
Neighbors who witnessed the visit from law enforcement described it as a “raid” and said the Malaras were led away in handcuffs. Both were being held on drug charges at the Sumter County Detention Center.
That home became the focus of an investigation after 61-year-old Ken Nevers of the Village of Fenney was struck by a silver Jaguar while bicycling Nov. 3 near the Manatee Recreation Center. The driver fled the scene, but a tipster placed the vehicle at the Malara home. An investigator with the Florida Highway Patrol visited the home and spoke to Tara Malara who provided information that led to the arrest of 59-year-old William Joseph Croop. He continues to be held without bond at the Sumter County Detention Center on charges of hit and run, fraud and drug possession.
Earlier this year, Tara Malara was arrested on the suspicion she was selling drugs. She was free on bond at the time of Tuesday’s arrest.
In 2017, Tara Malara was at the wheel of her parents’ Buick when it hit 79-year-old Richard Bolender’s golf cart in the Village of Glenbrook. He died a week later. His wife of 52 years, Nancy Bolender, filed a lawsuit against Anthony and Margaret Malara. She attempted to recover hospital and funeral expenses for her late husband and claimed the Malaras should not have let their daughter use their vehicle. Her suit detailed Tara Malara’s history of drug-related crimes and disregard for traffic laws.
It said that Anthony Malara understood that elderly golf cart drivers are numerous in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown and that Tara Malara’s history of drug abuse and traffic infractions made her a risk to those sharing the roadways. It noted that Tara Malara, who had been accompanied in the Buick by her young daughter, was already on probation in Florida and wanted on a New Jersey warrant on the day Bolender’s golf cart was hit. Nancy Bolender’s lawsuit was settled out of court.
The Malaras own three other homes in The Villages:
• 3366 Richmond Drive in the Village of Belle Aire.
• 754 Taos Way in the Village of Polo Ridge.
• 1624 Navidad St. in the Village of Alhambra.
They also own two properties at the Sandalwood Condominiums in Wildwood.