A 39-year-old Ocala man who has been in all sorts of trouble over the last year and a half is back behind bars – this time on a DUI charge.
Christopher Alan Gruber was determined by a Marion County Sheriff’s Office drug recognition expert to be under the influence of a stimulant when he was stopped shortly after midnight Monday on SW 27th Avenue. Gruber spent nearly eight months in the Marion County Jail last year after going berserk and smashing four computer monitors at The Centers mental health facility in January. Jail records show he was also charged with criminal mischief in July 2019 and petit theft in November 2020.
A deputy responded to the 900 block of SW 27th Avenue in response to a report of a suspicious vehicle. A witness told the deputy he observed a silver Toyota Camry with a white male driver sitting in the middle of the road. He said he approached the vehicle to check to check on the driver and the driver continually jerked around and a appeared to be under the influence of something, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The witness said he contacted the sheriff’s office, but before deputies could arrive, the vehicle took off, driving through the ditch and continuing southbound. The deputy caught up to the vehicle at the 11000 block of SW 27th Avenue. The vehicle continued south before turning around and going north, the report said.
While behind the vehicle, the deputy saw the driver continually jerk the vehicle back and forth in the lane, crossing the solid yellow line and into the oncoming traffic lane several times. Concerned the driver was either under the influence, falling asleep or having a medical emergency, the deputy conducted a traffic stop at the 10400 block of SW 27th Avenue, according to the report.
While speaking with the driver, now identified as Gruber, of 4894 SW 106th St., the deputy immediately observed his pupils were dilated and he continually moved and jerked around. After Gruber performed poorly in a number of field sobriety exercises, the deputy determined he was impaired and placed him under arrest, the report said.
Once at the jail, Gruber provided two breath samples that game back with readings of .000. A certified drug recognition expert evaluated Gruber and determined he was impaired by a central nervous stimulant and unable to operate a vehicle safely, according to the report.
Gruber was being held on $1,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Feb. 17.