Police: Florida man causes crashes, shakes rum bottle at authorities


After a 33-year-old Florida man fled from the scene of several car crashes that witnesses say he caused, he got out of his van, yelling incoherently, and shook a bottle of Bacardi rum at first responders, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Edelman Nogueira-Ventura of suburban Lake Worth faces charges of failing to remain at crash with severe injuries and leaving scene of a crash with property damage. Though investigators on the scene said he exhibited signs of being under the influence of alcohol, he was not charged with DUI because his blood alcohol level was 0.063, which is below the 0.08 considered to be over the limit.

Nogueira-Ventura was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on $3,000 Thursday, according to court records.

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On April 22, deputies came upon a crash in Greenacres. Nogueira-Ventura stepped out of a Ford E-250 van’s driver-side door, one of the cars involved in the crash, knelt on the ground and kissed it while yelling in English and Spanish, according to the report.

While Nogueira-Ventura was at Wellington Regional Medical Center being treated for his injuries, deputies began getting calls about the same van having crashed into other cars in the county that night.

Earlier in the evening, the van had crashed into a car in Palm Springs, causing the other vehicle to flip over and injuring the driver. A witness followed the van and saw it hit into several other cars. A Palm Springs police officer on his way home also saw the van riding on its rim, running a red light and crashing into a red pickup truck.

Witnesses told investigators Nogueira-Ventura tried to get away at the final crash, but his van was inoperable.

Deputies believe Nogueira-Ventura was drunk during the crashes because of the smell of alcohol on his breath, his glassy eyes and the open bottle of alcohol he shook at first responders after the final crash.

Nogueira-Ventura has previously been arrested for burglary with battering, fleeing and eluding, grand theft, trespassing and battery. He was only convicted of the battery, according to court records.