A Cross City man who said he was “test driving” a vehicle for his girlfriend wound up behind bars last week.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy stopped a 1998 Honda Odyssey in the 5300 block of S U.S. Hwy. 41 in Dunnellon shortly before 5 a.m. after the tag on the vehicle came back belonging to a red 1988 Toyota pickup truck. The driver, 38-year-old Rickey Bernard Kinder, told the deputy that the vehicle belonged to his girlfriend, who was riding with him. He said the minivan was experiencing transmission issues so he was just giving it a test drive for her, a sheriff’s office report says.
Kinder’s girlfriend said the vehicle wasn’t registered because “she had just bought it.” She also said the license tag on the minivan didn’t belong to that vehicle, the report says.
Kinder told the deputy he didn’t have a driver’s license and provided him with a Florida identification card. A computer check showed that Kinder’s license had been suspended or revoked nine times since 2007 for multiple reasons, including driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to pay court obligations and traffic fines. It also showed that Kinder was deemed a habitual traffic offender on April 9, 2007.
A criminal history also showed that Kinder had two prior convictions for driving while license suspended or revoked. He was found guilty on Nov. 21, 2006 for driving with license suspended or revoked in Alachua County and again on Sept. 27, 2007 as a habitual traffic offender in the same county, the report says.
Kinder was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with driving while license suspended (third or subsequent offense) and failing to register a motor vehicle. He is being held on $12,500 bond and is due in court Feb. 18 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.