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The Villages
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Villager with DUIs in New Jersey arrested in golf cart at Winn-Dixie

Janine Renee Rapka
Janine Renee Rapka

A Villager with several drunk driving convictions  in New Jersey was arrested in a golf cart at a Winn-Dixie store in The Villages.

Janine Renee Rapka, 45, who lives in the Village of Santo Domingo, allegedly keyed a vehicle during a dispute with the vehicle’s owner at about 3 p.m. Easter Sunday at Winn-Dixie at La Plaza Grande, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department.

Rapka had been stopped at a stop sign at the store when a man walked in front of Rapka’s golf cart. Rapka yelled profanities at the man and then walked toward his silver Ford and used a key to scratch the right front passenger door, causing about $1,000 in damage. The man’s mother was sitting in the Ford when Rapka keyed the door, prompting the mother to call 911.

A police officer arrived in the parking lot as Rapka was attempting to flee in her golf cart. The police officer used his squad car to block her golf cart and prevent her from leaving.

It appeared Rapka had been drinking. Officers found that she has had multiple convictions for driving under the influence in her native New Jersey and had been arrested for drunk driving in 2023 in The Villages. After the incident here, her driver’s license was permanently revoked.

Rapka refused to participate in field sobriety exercises and repeatedly demanded a lawyer. She provided breath samples that registered .307 and .289 blood alcohol content.

She was arrested on a felony charge of driving under the influence as well as as felony charges of driving while license suspended and criminal mischief. She was booked at the Lake County Jail on $25,000 bond.

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