A Florida man was driving heavily under the influence of drugs, so severely that he mistook two very different places of business, causing alarm. After falling asleep at the wheel, an employee at the bank woke the man and notified authorities upon discovering his extreme level of intoxication from strong prescription drugs. Twenty-eight-year-old Douglas Jon Francisco from Tampa was driving around in Spring Hill on Wednesday afternoon, his destination unknown, however, he ended up at the Bank of America drive-thru on Mariner Boulevard. Shortly after arriving at there, Francisco fell asleep. The manager of the bank, Martin Claussen reportedly knocked “for some time” before Francisco was able to regain consciousness.
Falling asleep at the wheel was reason enough to believe that Francisco was not a sober driver, however, his following actions confirmed suspicions. Francisco apparently believed to be at a Taco Bell drive-thru instead of at the bank. When the manager got his attention, Francisco attempted to order a burrito and “made several [other] statements that were differing from reality,” as described by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Claussen reportedly told Francisco he was not at Taco Bell, prompting the man to begin to drive off. Then, the manager called the police. Francisco, however, was unable to flee the scene and was still in the Bank of America parking lot when police arrived. The engine in Francisco’s Hyundai had been running throughout his nap.
As expected, Francisco failed all the responding officers’ sobriety tests and was also in possession of the narcotics Xanax and Oxycodone. The drugs were prescribed to Francisco; however, he had clearly taken more the recommended dosages of both drugs. Officers reported his “delayed reactions” and “slowed movements.” More importantly, he should not have been driving under the influence of any level of either substance.
Francisco was immediately arrested and is being held at Hernando County Jail. His bond was set to $1,000. Authorities have not yet released what charges Francisco will face besides a DUI, if he was under the influence of any other substances, or on the status of his mental health condition. His behavior at the Bank of America, however, indicates a concerning underlying issue.
The story is humorous to some, considering that no one was hurt; one reporter for Jalopnik joked “in a move all too indicative of the lack of true customer service at modern banks, the manager didn’t even try to make the man a burrito.” While jokes are being made, operating a vehicle under such conditions could have resulted in tragedy, which it, fortunately, did not.
Even so, it is disturbing to some that Francisco had the resources to drive under such an extreme level of impairment. Had his dosage and actual usage been monitored more closely, he would not have been able to endanger himself or the public as he did last week when he did not know where he was.
The situation received media attention for its strangeness, however, it is, of course, only one of the many drive-thru related incidents to occur. In November, another Florida man, 62, was arrested for “burglary with assault” after becoming enraged at a drive-thru employee at a Steak ‘n Shake in Seminole County. The customer was angry about being served a reportedly undercooked burger and began verbally assaulting the drive-thru attendant. The employee subsequently closed the window, which the man “pried open,” continuing the out-of-control behavior.
Also in November, a twenty-seven-year-old Maryland woman, was arrested for “burglary and theft” charges after she robbed a McDonald’s one early morning. The woman was caught on video surveillance, climbing through the fast-food chain’s drive-thru window stealing cash from the register, Happy Meal toys, and food and beverages. The establishment was closed at the time, however authorities were able to identify her from the footage.
— WZZM 13 On Your Side (@wzzm13) November 21, 2017
Unusual stories often make headlines due to their entertainment factor, which is present in the previous three situations. However, beyond learning of an individual’s strange behavior, concerned citizens often indicate they hope these typically nonviolent individuals receive the treatment that they likely require.
Social media users have been unsympathetic about Francisco’s Taco Bell mix-up, mostly reporting comments such as “only in Florida,” with users mocking the state’s frequent headlines involving strange incidents. One Twitter comment brought up a legitimate point that at least the story was not reversed and that Francisco did not try to “demand money” from a Taco Bell, adding a robbery charge. The situation could have been admittedly worse, but hopefully, Francisco has begun to recover from the incident.