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Ocala man pulls out race card during traffic stop

Feroz Khan

An Ocala man said he was being set up and allegedly called a deputy racial slurs during a drunk-driving arrest last week.

Feroz Khan, 35, of 4110 SW 33rd St., was charged early Jan. 12 with DUI and refusing to submit to a DUI test after having his license suspended. It was Khan’s second arrest in less than 48 hours. He was picked up Jan. 10 on a criminal warrant out of Orange County for criminal mischief with damage of more than $200.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was traveling east on West Highway 40 at around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 11 when he saw a silver GMC Yukon make a wide U-turn in, with its passenger-side tires touching the grass, in the 6600 block. The vehicle started weaving in the outside lane and turned on the turn signal, turned it off, and then turned it back on. The vehicle turned south onto SW 60th Avenue in the inside lane, conducted another U-turn, traveled north on SW 60th Avenue and turned west onto Highway 40, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The deputy turned on his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop but the Yukon continued westbound, traveling between 54 and 60 mph. The vehicle continued until 6915 W. Hwy. 40 and turned into a church with a long driveway before coming to a stop in a parking lot, the report said.

The deputy spoke with Khan, who said he didn’t stop because he is afraid of the police. Khan’s speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were bloodshot and watery. Asked if he suffered from any medical conditions, Khan said he had something wrong with his tooth as well as multiple sclerosis, according to the report.

Khan agreed to perform some field sobriety exercises. The closer the deputy stood to Khan, the more apparent it was that he was intoxicated. A strong odor of alcoholic beverages emitted from him and his eyes were becoming more red. Khan denied consuming any alcohol, the report said.

Khan interrupted the deputy during the instructions for the walk-and-turn exercise and demanded to speak to a lieutenant. He said he wasn’t going to complete the exercises and was ultimately arrested and placed in the back of the deputy’s patrol vehicle. While in the patrol vehicle, Khan kept saying the deputy set him up and called the deputy racial slurs. The smell of alcohol did not dissipate, according to the report.

Once at the Marion County Jail, Khan agreed to provide a breath sample but did not follow instruction and no sample was provided on both attempts. A criminal history check shows he was convicted of DUI and refusal to submit to a breath test in January 2019 in Sumter County, the report said.

Khan was released Jan. 13 on $2,000 bond.

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