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Driver Facing DUI With Serious Injury Charge After Passenger Falls From Vehicle In Babson Park

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Polk County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Affidavit

On 04/29/2022, at approximately 0326 hours, I responded to the area of Cody Villa Rd and Scenic Hwy S in reference to a vehicle crash involving a possibly impaired driver and serious bodily injury.

Upon arrival, I made contact with Polk County Sheriff’s Office Southeast District Patrol deputies who had secured the scene and separated the involved parties. I was advised that a female victim, VICTIM, had fallen from a moving vehicle and suffered injuries. I was advised the driver of the single vehicle involved, a 2016 Honda Pilot (FL Tag: 359NUD), in the incident was possibly impaired by drugs and or alcohol.

I made contact with witness, Wanda Pope, who advised she did not witness VICTIM fall from a vehicle, but did locate her lying down on the east shoulder of Scenic Hwy S. She advised the suspect, Ross Windom, and his passengers, Philip Scopano and Luke Pallone, arrived on scene shortly after she discovered VICTIM on the side of the roadway. She advised Windom was the driver of the involved vehicle when it arrived on scene. Pope stated that she noticed Windom and his passengers to be possibly under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.

I made contact with Scopano who advised he was in the vehicle when the incident occurred. Scopano advised Windom was the driver of the vehicle during this time.

Passenger, Luke Pallone, reported that the suspect was the driver of the Honda during this incident.  He further reported that at the time of this incident the victim was sitting on the right rear window ledge of the vehicle, with her upper body outside of the vehicle, when she fell out. 

I then made contact with Windom, I advised Windom I was transitioning from a civil crash investigation to a criminal DUI investigation. Windom was provided with his Miranda Warnings via agency issued Miranda Warnings card, to which he advised he understood. I asked Windom if he was driving when VICTIM fell from the vehicle, he stated yes. I asked where he was coming from and where he was headed. He stated he was coming from P&J Recreation in Frostproof, FL and was heading back to Webber University. He advised as he drove, the windows to the vehicle were down and music was playing at a high volume. 

While speaking with Windom, I detected the scent of an alcoholic beverage to emanate from his breath. I noticed his eyes to be bloodshot and watery and he demonstrated a side to side sway while standing.. When asked if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages he initially stated no, but when asked again later, he advised he did have 3 Natural Light beers.

Based on these indicators, I asked Windom to submit to a series of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s), to which he consented to participating in the SFST’s. 

The following are the results of the SFST’s.

1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – Observed 4 out of 6 clues, 4 or more clues is an indicator of impairment.

2. Walk and Turn- Observed 8 out of 8 clues, 2 or more clues is an indicator of impairment.

3. One Leg Stand – Observed 2 out of 4 clues, 2 or more clues is an indicator of impairment.

Based on my observations, I determined probable cause existed to believe Windom was driving a vehicle in Polk County, Florida and based on my training and experience, I determined Windom was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to the point his normal faculties were impaired which resulted in serious injury to victim, VICTIM.

Windom was transported to the Polk County Sheriff’s Processing Center where I began a 20 minute observation period on him. Prior to conducting this observation, Windom’s mouth was checked to be clear of any foreign material. Windom was placed in a temporary holding cell #3 which was checked to be clear of any foreign material. During the 20 minute observation, Windom did not regurgitate and did not put anything in his mouth during the 20 minute observation period.

At the conclusion of the 20-minute observation period, I requested Windom to provide a minimum of two lawful breath samples to determine his breath alcohol content, Windom consented to the breath test.

The breath samples showed the Windom’s breath alcohol content to be 0.098g/210L and 0.092g/210L. 

Windom was issued Florida DUI citations for DUI-Serious Bodily Injury

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