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The Villages
Monday, May 9, 2022

Father jailed after leaving 11-year-old home alone while he gambled

Christopher Reid Douglas
Christopher Reid Douglas

A hit-and-run suspect was arrested after leaving his 11-year-old daughter home alone while he went gambling.

The girl was in an emotional state when officers found her and she feared her father, 37-year-old Christopher Reid Douglas, had been killed in a drunk driving crash, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. Officers discovered she was home alone Thursday night with the inside deadbolt locked at the home she shares with her father in the 800 block of Oakwood Circle in Wildwood. Police showed up at the home as they were investigating a hit-and-run crash.

The driver of a company van told police that his vehicle had been struck by a gray utility vehicle on State Road 44 in the area of Village Drive. He said the gray utility vehicle made a U-turn after the crash and then kept going.

Officers found the utility vehicle in the carport of Douglas’ home. It had fresh damage that matched the description of the crash provided by the driver of the van. The utility vehicle was still “hot” and it appeared it had been recently driven, according to the arrest report. The keys were in Douglas’ pocket. A check revealed that Douglas, who was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence in December after crashing into a concrete barrier in the construction zone on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in Lady Lake, has a Business Purposes Only driver’s license.

The daughter said her father had gone to Oxford Downs to drink and gamble. She indicated it is something he does “often,” leaving her alone at home.

He was arrested on charges of hit and run, child neglect and violating a driver’s license restriction. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $2,500 bond.

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