Ocala man with previous arrests charged with DUI in hit-and-run crash

Joshua Michael Moreno

An Ocala man with several previous alcohol-related arrests was charged Sunday with driving under the influence after leaving the scene of a crash at the intersection of State Road 35 and County Road 464.

Joshua Michael Moreno, 38, of 3431 SE 6th St., spent the night in the Marion County Jail before being released Monday on $11,000 bond. He was previously arrested for DUI in 2012 and 2014, and reckless driving involving alcohol in 2013, according to jail records.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was on his way to the crash site when he received word the driver had been apprehended by Marion County sheriff’s deputies a short distance away. The driver was later positively identified by the victims and witnesses as Moreno, the FHP report said.

The four occupants of the other car, all in their 70s, told the trooper their Honda SUV was rear-ended by a red car at the intersection. They said Moreno got out of the vehicle and spoke with them briefly before leaving the scene without providing any information. They said he appeared intoxicated, according to the report.

While this was going on, a sheriff’s deputy was stopped at the intersection and saw Moreno leave the scene. The deputy pursued him and conducted a traffic stop, the report stated.

A witness who was following Moreno captured the events on his private dash camera. The witness said he knows Moreno personally and knew him to be impaired at the time of the crash. He said he was trying to stop Moreno from driving before and after the crash because he didn’t want Moreno to kill someone, according to the report.

The trooper observed Moreno’s red KIA Soul had minor front-end damage consistent with the victims’ statements. He also documented that Moreno had signs of impairment, including unsteadiness on his feet, a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech, and bloodshot, glassy and watery eyes. Moreno invoked his right not to speak to law enforcement, the report said.

Moreno agreed to perform field sobriety exercises, during which he showed numerous indicators of intoxication. At the jail, he was given a breath test, where he registered blood-alcohol levels of 0.198 and 0.199 – more than twice the legal limit, according to the report.

Moreno will make his next appearance in Marion County Court on June 10.