School-bound teacher charged with DUI, fleeing - South Lake Press: Community

Eustis School-bound teacher charged with DUI, fleeing

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Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:00 am

A kindergarten teacher on her way to work faces several charges, including DUI, after allegedly driving into incoming traffic, passing a stopped school bus and ramming a sheriff’s patrol car that was involved in the pursuit.

A sheriff’s deputy said he was finally able to stop Monica Leigh Jenkins after she became penned in by other vehicles at a construction site in Eustis. Jenkins, 46, who teaches at Sorrento Elementary School, was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding and DUI.

According to an arrest affidavit, sheriff’s deputies received several calls early the Monday morning, March 3, about a black SUV weaving across the road in the Royal Trails area in Eustis. A deputy responding to the area and driving west on State Road 44, spotted the vehicle coming at him in the wrong direction.

The deputy said he turned on the lights and sirens in his marked vehicle, which caused the SUV to veer back into the proper lane. But when the deputy turned around to pursue the vehicle, it wouldn’t stop.

According to the affidavit, the driver passed a stopped school bus, and when the deputy sped in front of the SUV to stop it, the vehicle started to ram his squad car.

The driver of the SUV finally stopped after she was penned in by other vehicles on the road.

“She was penned in because traffic was at a stop for the construction area, as in there was nowhere else to go,” said Sgt. James Vachon, sheriff’s spokesman.

Jenkins told deputies she had just dropped off her children at a Eustis school and was headed to Sorrento Elementary, where she teaches kindergarten, and didn’t remember any of the pursuit or ramming the deputy’s vehicle.

The affidavit adds Jenkins told deputies that earlier in the morning she had taken hydrocodone, an opioid derived from codeine used to treat pain and coughs.

It is not clear how she performed on a subsequent DUI test, but she was arrested on DUI charges and released from the Lake County jail after posting bail.

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