Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Golf cart nightmare


Thomas Perez’s face was bloody and he was wearing handcuffs, but it was not part of a Halloween costume — he was going to jail.

According to a police report, the drunken FAU student was arrested on Oct. 30 after stealing a Student Government golf cart, crashing it into a parked van, and running from police.

The incident happened at around 2:40 a.m., the report said.

Perez, who also had a warrant from Hillsborough County for drug possession, was spotted by contractors Jeffrey Riibner, 49, and Daniel Murphy, 38, speeding on a white, six-seat golf cart outside the Student Union.

Then they witnessed as the 19-year-old student rammed the golf cart into the right rear quarter panel of their 2004 GMC van.

Perez attempted to flee the scene twice, the report said.

He first tried to walk away right after the crash, but the two men caught him.

When police arrived, the Heritage Park Towers resident student attempted a second getaway, sprinting southbound toward the parking garage by the library. But this time,

Perez lost his balance and landed face-first on the pavement, causing an abrasion to the left side of his forehead.

“I could smell an obvious odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath,” said Officer Darren Courtney.

Upon being arrested, Perez refused to cooperate. He became “very irate and verbally abusive” toward the two officers, the report said. He was taken to the FAU Police Department.

The Life Safety van sustained approximately $1,000 in damage. The golf cart, valued at $5,000, got its steering column damaged, costing another $1,000. Perez’s crime is considered a felony — he could face jail time.

His charges include: leaving the scene of an accident with property damage; driving while license is suspended with knowledge; grand theft; criminal mischief over $1,000; disorderly intoxication; and resisting officer without violence.

Student Body President Ayden Maher and Vice President Evan Konecky said they did not know about the incident and were actually informed by theUP. However, Student Government Director Heather Bishara did know. She confirmed the golf cart was a six-seater and that it belonged to SG.

According to Bishara, some golf carts can be started using any key, such as a mailbox key.

Assistant dean of students Terry Mena, the first staff member contacted by police, could not be reached for comment as of publication time.

Around the same time of the crime, Konecky’s golf cart went missing for about two days.

“It happens all the time,” said Bishara, referring to golf cart thefts.

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