Fort Meade man arrested on third DUI charge after crashing into orange tree, sheriff says

Booking image for Bryan Waddell (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

A Polk County deputy was struck in the face by a DUI suspect after the man crashed his pick-up truck into an orange tree, officials said.

Around 4:43 p.m. Tuesday, deputies came across a single-vehicle crash. The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Bryan Waddell, crashed his Ford F-150 into an orange tree at Lake Hendry Road and Garfield Road. 

During the investigation, deputies said Waddell was impaired. They said he smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and appeared to be swaying.

A deputy told the Fort Meade man that was being investigated for DUI, but, in response, said he was leaving to go home, officials said. As he turned to walk away, deputies grabbed his arm.

Deputies said Waddell tried to pull away, broke free, and then struck one of the deputies in the face, causing a contusion to the right eye, redness and swelling on his face.

Eventually, deputies were able to arrest Waddell, they said. The suspect and deputy were both taken to Bartow Regional Medical Center and were released.
Deputies said Waddell refused a breath test at the jail's booking center. 

According to the sheriff's office, Waddell 's criminal history includes past DUI arrest, leaving the scene of a crash, resisting an officer, tampering with evidence, and criminal mischief. 

"We are fortunate Mr. Waddell only damaged his truck and an orange tree because of his intoxication while driving," said Sheriff Grady Judd in a statement. "He continues to demonstrate a flagrant disregard for our laws and for the safety of others."

Waddell's charges stemming from his Tuesday arrest includes his third DUI within 10 years, driving with a suspended license and resisting an officer with violence. 

Officials said his license was revoked in June 2017 for DUI and the length of the suspension  was for a decade. He previously refused to submit a breath test in April 2017.