ENGLEWOOD, FL – Charlotte County Sheriff’s Deputies found the driver of a pickup truck asleep at the wheel while stopped at a stop sign in Englewood Sunday morning.
According to authorities, at approximately 10:30am on Sunday, May 15, deputies received a call of a reckless driver entering Englewood from the Venice area. According to the caller, the driver of a white pickup truck was swerving in and out of traffic, nearly causing head-on collisions. Deputies responded to the area and located a vehicle matching the description stopped at a stop sign at Loralin Dr. and Greaza St. They positioned their patrol vehicle behind the truck, which did not move for approximately one minute. The engine was running and the brake lights were illuminated.
As deputies approached the driver’s side door, they observed the driver, identified as 57 year old Anthony Philip Dibona asleep at the wheel. Deputies knocked on the window and awakened Dibona, who then exited the truck. As he did so, he was unable to maintain his balance and leaned on the vehicle for support multiple times.
Deputies began to question Dibona, asking where he was coming from. He stated he was coming from Venice, Nokomis, and Port Charlotte, and that he was looking for food. He also stated he worked last night in Manatee County and has been driving around ever since. His speech was slurred, and he could not provide any further information on why he was in Englewood. Deputies suspected he was under the influence and asked for his consent to search his vehicle, which he granted. In the passenger seat, they located a 4-inch cut plastic straw, which contained residue of a white substance. However, there was not enough to conduct a field test.
Anthony appeared confused and was unable to formulate a complete sentence, prompting deputies to contact EMS to check him out. EMS arrived and transported him to the hospital. During transport, Anthony fell asleep mid-sentence and had pin-point pupils, causing the paramedic to believe he was experiencing a drug overdose. Narcan was administered, and he reacted positively.
At the hospital, Anthony signed a medical release, granting permission for his blood and urine to be tested. The tests came back positive for opioids and benzodiazepines. Additionally, the tending nurse had to administer a second dose of Narcan due to signs of Anthony slipping back into the overdose.
“I want to thank the concerned citizen who called in to let us know about this individual. Clearly, this is someone who doesn’t understand how dangerous this behavior is. A lot of people could have been seriously hurt or worse, all because of one person’s poor decisions. Thank God that didn’t happen.”SHERIFF BILL PRUMMELL
Based on what deputies described as a totality of the circumstances, it was determined that Dibona was impaired and not able to safely operate a motor vehicle. He was arrested, and it was revealed that he had four prior DUI convictions. He was charged with DUI 4th or Subsequent and Failure to Obey Driver’s License Restrictions by the Courts. Once cleared, he was transported to the Charlotte County Jail without incident. Dibona is being held on $10,000 bond.