Woman arrested on DUI faces additional charges

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee woman who was arrested Sept. 8 and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) faces additional charges, following an investigation.

Loretta Joy Marr, 60, of S.E. 27th Street, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, three counts of aggravated child abuse, reckless driving and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving damages. Her bond totals $170,750.

Loretta Joy Marr, 60

Marr was arrested on Sept. 8 on a charge of DUI. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Steven Pollock responded to a hit and run traffic crash in the Winn-Dixie parking lot on U.S. 441 S. The victim told the deputy that a black Ford truck ran into the back of her car at a red light near the main entrance of the Winn-Dixie parking lot. When the light turned green, the black truck passed her car on the right and pulled into the Winn-Dixie parking lot. The victim told the deputy she pulled her vehicle in behind the truck when the pickup’s driver, a female with blonde hair, “exited the truck yelling profanity and threatening to beat her up,” the report states. The woman then got back in the truck, backed the truck into victim’s car, and left the scene. The victim was able to give the deputy the license number of the truck which struck her car. A Winn-Dixie employee and a shopper who was in the parking lot gave the deputy similar accounts of the incident. Deputy John Fisher observed the truck pull into a driveway on S.E. 27th Street. He made contact with the driver and could smell alcohol on her breath. Her eyes were bloodshot and watery, he stated. After the driver, identified as Loretta Joy Marr, failed the field sobriety tests, she was placed under arrest and transported to the Okeechobee County Jail. The Intoxilyzer test showed her blood alcohol level at 0.121 and O.110, more than double the limit considered under the influence. She was released on her own recognizance.

Meanwhile, the crash investigation continued.

On Sept. 9, Deputy Steven Pollock made contact with Keith Marr, according to the report.

He advised he was not in the truck with Loretta Marr when the incident occurred but he knew who had been in the truck. He then contacted Juan Ramos by phone and asked him to meet with the deputy.

According to the report, Juan Ramos advised he was a passenger in the truck when the crash occurred.

He told the deputy the red light turned green, and Loretta cursed because the vehicle in front of her truck had not yet moved “at which time she stepped on the gas and purposely rammed” the vehicle in front of her. She then passed the car while both vehicles were making a left turn into the parking lot.

Mr. Ramos told the deputy the driver of the car that had been rear-ended pulled in behind the truck and the driver started complaining about the crash. He said Loretta then got out of the truck and threatened the driver verbally. She then got back into the truck, backed into the other vehicle and left the scene. “He advised he did not think Loretta backed into the car on purpose because she had to back up to leave,” the report states.

Mr. Ramos told the deputy that Loretta then drove him to his residence on N.W. 39th Circle and told him “not to tell anyone what had happened.”

Deputy Pollock met with Loretta Marr at approximately 5:40 p.m. on Sept. 12 and placed her under arrest.

For allegedly ramming the back of another vehicle with her truck, Marr is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon (motor vehicle.)

The three counts of aggravated child abuse are related to the three children, ages 8 to 13, who were in the vehicle Marr reportedly rammed.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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