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Driver's outfit stops at undies

But she doesn't stop after hitting a deputy's car, authorities say.

By REBECCA CATALANELLO
Published January 19, 2007


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TAMPA - You know how your mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case something unfortunate happens?

Something unfortunate happened to Caitlin Jeanne Fahey early Thursday morning. And, thankfully, she had her underwear on - but, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman, that's almost all.

Fahey, 23, a University of South Florida graduate assistant, hit an unmarked sheriff's cruiser at N 30th Street and E Fowler Avenue at 1:25 a.m. after running a red light while westbound on Fowler, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Rather than stop after causing $6,000 in damage to Sgt. Ryan Balseiro's cruiser, Fahey drove to a nearby gas station parking lot, where witnesses stopped her, Carter said.

Deputies responding to the scene found Fahey wearing only a towel and underwear. Her clothes were on the floor of her 2000 Jeep.

The Lutz resident told deputies she'd just left a friend's house, where she'd been lounging in a hot tub. Tests showed her blood-alcohol level at 0.204 and 0.193, according to Fahey's arrest report. Florida law presumes intoxication at a level of 0.08.

Balseiro received minor injuries and was treated at the scene, Carter said. Fahey's Jeep also sustained about $6,000 in damage.

Fahey, who works in USF's English department, according to the school's Web site, is charged with driving under the influence with property damage and leaving the scene of a crash with injuries.

She did not respond to an e-mail or a phone call seeking comment Thursday afternoon. Nine hours after her arrest, she was released from jail on a $2,500 surety bond. She has no prior arrests in Florida.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

[Last modified January 19, 2007, 00:42:57]


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