ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A woman who appeared to be intoxicated drove a minivan from a restaurant in Jacksonville and stopped in the middle of Race Track Road in St. Johns County on Saturday evening, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
Alyssa Swogger, 27, of Jacksonville, was arrested on charges of suspicion of DUI and resisting without violence.
About 11:15 p.m. Saturday, according to her arrest report, a deputy drove up to a Dodge Caravan that was stopped in the middle on Race Track Road with its emergency flashers on and without any headlights on. The deputy wrote in the report that the driver, Swogger, thought she was on University Boulevard in Jacksonville.
The arrest report stated that she had to be physically pulled out of the van and handcuffed after refusing to get out. She was placed in the back of the deputy’s car, where she managed to get out of the handcuffs and told the deputy, “She was unaware she needed to stay in them because she was not read her rights," the report said.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said people who are flexible can sometimes maneuver handcuffs to the front of their body.
“Also, if they have small wrists, they can finagle their way out of them if they are not secured and double-locked down," Jefferson said.
According to the arrest report, one witness said Swogger had appeared to be intoxicated at a restaurant in Jacksonville. Another witness, who said Swogger left the restaurant sometime after 8:30 p.m., told the deputy that she saw Swogger “driving her vehicle with the rear hatch lifted and was swerving on the roadway,” the report stated. The two witnesses told deputies Swogger was asleep when they found her stopped on Race Track Road, according to the report.
While on the way to the jail, according to the arrest report, a deputy had to pull over and call for help after he said he realized Swogger moved from one side of the car to the other and was trying to choke herself with a seat belt.
Jefferson said arrestees are typically buckled up while en route to jail. He said he believes investigators could be looking into how Swogger reportedly managed to not only get out of her handcuffs but also attempt to choke herself.
Swogger was booked into the St. Johns County jail just before 1 a.m. Sunday but was released about 2:45 p.m. that day on $1,500 bond, according to online jail records.