The Sheriff’s Office is currently participating in the national Click-it or Ticket campaign, which is taking place from May 20th to June 2nd.
Traffic Enforcement Deputy David Fernandez was at the triangle, at the entrance to Key West watching northbound traffic when he saw a gold Toyota Corolla. The driver, later identified as 56 year old Diane Denolf, was not wearing a seat belt. He pulled behind her with his lights and siren, stopping her just over the Cow Key Channel Bridge.
Denolf could not provide her driver’s license. She was visibly nervous. The deputy saw a brown paper bag which looked like it had some kind of beverage in it. Deputy Fernandez returned to his vehicle to run a check on her. As he was doing so, she got out of her car and approached him. He asked her to return to her vehicle until he was finished. Denolf returned to her vehicle. She then suddenly took off, northbound.
Deputy Fernandez followed, calling ahead for additional deputies to be on alert to her approach. She was stopped with the help of Sgt. Kevin Mimosa at the 8 mile marker of the highway. This time, she was wearing her seat belt.
She refused to get out of the car, so the deputies had to struggle with her to remove her. She was placed under arrest and handcuffed. In the paper bag, the officers found an open and still chilled container of Miller Light. Denolf was charged with fleeing and eluding police, resisting arrest, possession of an open container of alcohol, having no proof of insurance, having an expired tag and not wearing a seat belt. She was booked into jail.