Police: Driver hits power pole, charged with DUI

James Militello
James Militello

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A 61-year-old St. Augustine man was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with DUI after he was seen crashing his car into a power pole and then driving away, the St. Augustine Police Department said.

The crash, which happened about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, knocked out power to the Winn-Dixie grocery store on State Road 207 and to the traffic lights at the intersection of South Ponce Boulevard and Arapaho Street.

James S. Militello was seen leaving the scene by a witness, who called police. A St. Johns County Sheriff's Office sergeant heard the description of Militello's car over his radio and then spotted the car driving north on Ponce Boulevard near State Road 16.

The sergeant pulled Militello over and saw him put a can to his mouth. The sergeant later learned the can was Dust Off duster, and Militello admitted he was huffing it, police said.

The sergeant reported that Militello appeared sluggish and was slurring his words.

Officer Chris Miller from the St. Augustine Police Department took over the scene and interviewed Militello about his recent driving actions. Militello could not recall them.

Militello attempted to perform several field sobriety tests, but Miller was concerned for Militello's safety, because he was unstable on his feet. Miller asked Militello if he would provide a blood sample, and he answered that he would. After the sample was collected, Militello was taken to the county jail without incident.

He was charged with DUI with property damage and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.