Kaitlyn MacDonald said she was trying to get away from threatening men.
An Ocala police officer was arrested early Friday and accused of driving drunk. Later in the day, the rookie officer was fired.
Officer Kaitlyn Marie MacDonald’s breath test was 0.200 and 0.198, which is more than twice the state’s legal limit of .08.
MacDonald was charged with DUI with property damage and taken into custody at 2:04 a.m. in the 100 block of Southwest Fifth Street. She was then transported to the Marion County Jail. She posted bond and was released later in the day.
MacDonald was off duty at the time of arrest.
According to an Ocala Police Department report, shortly before 2 a.m. Friday, officers were called to the 100 block of Southwest Fifth Street in reference to a crash. When Sgt. Mat Steckman arrived, he saw a car had crashed head-on into a telephone pole. Three men told the supervisor that the driver was a woman and she was sitting on the ground by a tree.
Steckman tried talking to the woman, later identified as MacDonald, 21, but could not understand her. MacDonald later stood up and walked to her vehicle. When asked what happened, she told the officers that she had been at a downtown bar and some men were following her. She said she tried to get away from the men, who she said were threatening her.
The officers interviewed the men, one of them an off-duty Sumter County sheriff’s deputy, who were at the crash location. The off-duty officer said he and the other men were hanging out at a bar and saw MacDonald there. She told them she was going to another bar and left. The man said about a half an hour later, MacDonald called and told him that her vehicle had struck a curb and she needed help changing a tire.
The off-duty sheriff’s official said when they arrived at the location, they saw the damage and called the police. He said MacDonald was crying. When police arrived, she ran behind the tree.
MacDonald told Office William Joedick, her colleague, that she had consumed at least seven beers. She said that three guys had been bothering her all night. Before leaving the bar, she said, the bartender told her to stay, but she declined. She said she was the only person in the vehicle.
MacDonald was hired by the department in December 2017.
Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118, email@example.com or @almillerosb.