[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 10/21/19]
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TAVARES, Florida – A night of drinking turned into a trip to jail for a Tavares man early Saturday morning. Tavares Police responded to a 9-1-1 call made by an employee of a local business in reference to a disturbance between a male and female in the parking lot of the shopping center that includes Golden Ox Liquors and Joann Fabrics. The caller advised a female was screaming and the male put her into a black car and sped away on Banning Beach Road, according to an arrest affidavit.
A Tavares police officer located a black Toyota Corolla with its lights on and the driver’s door ajar. The officer observed a female sitting against a tree, crying hysterically with her breasts exposed and a male, later identified as Anthony Manuele, 36, standing in front of her, yelling, the affidavit states. The officer ordered Manuele away from the woman and placed her in the back of his car for safety.
The officer questioned Manuele who told him the pair had been drinking at a restaurant earlier and the female drank multiple “shots of vodka” and had become so drunk he feared for her safety, so he escorted her to the car, according to the affidavit. He told police he took her to Denny’s to eat but she decided she did not want to eat, so he escorted her back to the car and intended to take her to his home in Leesburg.
The alleged victim told police a different story. With redness on her neck and several contusions on her arm consistent with a bite, she told police he forced her into the car and began battering her as he drove down the road, the affidavit states. He then pulled into the parking lot at Burleigh Boulevard and Banning Beach Road, per her request. She attempted to flee the vehicle and Manuele forced her back in and continued driving down Banning Beach Road, stopping near the corner of Shorewood Drive. She told police she attempted to call 9-1-1 on her cell phone and Manuele restrained her and she fled. Police found her phone in the car with “911” on the screen, but the call was not sent.
Manuele denied the allegations and was arrested and taken to the Lake County Jail. At the jail, he stated he did not live in Leesburg, but was homeless. Manuele has a documented address in Tavares. The arresting officer stated in the affidavit he believed Manuele was lying in an “attempt to explain his travel during the course of these events and to obstruct your affiant’s investigation of these events.”
Manuele was booked on charges of domestic battery by strangulation, loitering or prowling, false imprisonment, deprivation of 911, simple domestic battery and false information to a law enforcement officer. He was released the same day on $8,500 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]