Deputy: Party goer stole host’s truck

OKEECHOBEE — A man who allegedly has never held a valid Florida driver’s license is accused of stealing a pickup truck then driving it through a fence line.

Marcelo Montoya

Marcelo Montoya

Marcelo Montoya, 24, N.W. Seventh St., Okeechobee, was arrested Tuesday, June 21, on a felony charge of grand theft-motor vehicle. He was also arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and no valid driver’s license.

Montoya is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $4,000.

Deputy Kristen Gray, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), indicated in her arrest report Montoya was attending a party at a home on S.E. 22nd Court when he allegedly took the host’s green 2002 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Apparently the keys were in the truck because party goers were listening to the radio.

The owner of the truck called OCSO dispatch while she was following Montoya at high rates of speed, stated the deputy. Montoya eventually ran into a fence, added the report.

“One inside the fence, he made a U-turn inside the pasture and rammed the fence again in a separate area of the fence line,” stated Deputy Gray. “The vehicle became stuck in the ditch so Montoya exited the driver side of the vehicle and ran away from the scene on foot.”

Deputy Christine Torres reportedly saw Montoya walk out of some woods along S.E. Eighth Street a short time later.

Deputy Gray drove to that area and placed Montoya under arrest, but apparently not without a brief tussle.

According to her report damages to the fence were estimated to be $430, and the truck was damaged to the point it could not be driven and was towed from the scene. Deputy Gray also documented that she received some minor lacerations to her left knee and both elbows when she first tried to handcuff Montoya.

Deputy Gray also stated that OCSO dispatch confirmed for her that Montoya “… did not, nor has he ever, had a driver’s license issued to him.” Montoya’s arraignment has been set for July 15 at 10 a.m.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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