Habitual traffic offender jailed after almost slamming into police cruiser

Jeffrey L. Grant

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was called to assist an Ocala Police lieutenant Monday after a habitual traffic offender almost collided with his patrol vehicle.

The lieutenant said he was driving in the 16000 block of N Hwy. 329 when he saw a red Chevrolet pickup weaving in front of him. He stated that he also could see the glow of a cell phone coming from inside the truck. And he said that as he went to pass the pickup, it crossed the centerline and almost hit his vehicle, forcing him to move his driver’s side wheels off the roadway, a sheriff’s office report states.

The lieutenant said he stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver, 38-year-old Jeffrey L. Grant, of Micanopy. He determined that Grant’s license was suspended and he has been listed as a habitual offender since April 2011.

Grant told the deputy that he was reaching for his phone and “may have crossed the line.” He said he didn’t see the Ocala Police vehicle swerve. And he said he “screwed up” by driving to a friend’s house to inquire about money because of his daughter’s birthday this coming weekend, the report says.

Grant was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with driving with a suspended license (habitual offender). He was released on $4,000 bond.

Grant, who has been in the Marion County Jail 11 times since October 2001, is due in court on Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charge.