Paul L. Marino

NORTH PORT — Florida Highway Patrol Troopers arrested a North Port man on a January hit-and-run case, according to reports released Wednesday.

The crash happened at 6:15 p.m. Jan. 8 at River Road and Pine Street in Englewood.

Paul L. Marino, 63, of the 6400 block of Safford Terrace, was driving a 2017 Ford F-150 pickup when he hit a motorcyclist who was waiting for the red light, the report states. The motorcyclist, who was not identified in the report, was able to hold onto his bike but tore his right bicep and rotator cuff as the bike lurched forward 10-12 feet.

The motorcyclist spoke to the driver, who repeatedly asked if he had hit the motorcycle. While waiting for troopers to arrive, Marino said, “This is bull----,” and drove away. The motorcyclist gave officers a description of the truck, its driver and the truck’s tag number. He later identified Marino from a photo.

Troopers could not find Marino at his home that night, but did find the truck, which had damage to the front bumper. Troopers unsuccessfully tried to contact Marino twice between Feb. 10 and March 31.

On April 6, FHP hit-and-run investigator Trooper George Smyrinos took over the case and learned that Marino had been arrested on the same night of the crash by a Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy.

The deputy had heard a be-on-the-lookout alert and spotted Marino driving erratically on Toledo Blade Boulevard in Port Charlotte, about 54 minutes later. The deputy reported Marino was “very intoxicated, had slurred speech, a strong odor of alcohol and had urinated on himself.” He charged Marino with DUI. Marino’s blood-alcohol content was .179% and .180%, the report states, more than twice the legal limit in Florida.

Marino was released from Charlotte County after posting $1,500 bond.

On Monday, Trooper Smyrnios arrested Marino on the additional charges of leaving a crash involving serious bodily injury, DUI with serious bodily injury, DUI, leaving the scene of crash with damage to property and DUI with property damage.

Marino was released Tuesday from the Sarasota County Jail on $10,740 bond.


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