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Wandering Dementia Patient Jailed for Old DUI Warrant

A Florida woman with dementia spent nearly a week in jail after police found the septuagenarian wandering blocks from her nursing home and reportedly discovered she had a warrant out for her arrest from 10 years ago.

74-year-old Gwen Donahue resides in a Dade County nursing home, and her daughter reported that the woman suffers from physical and mental health deterioration.

On September 30, Donahue strayed away from the home, causing the belief that the woman had gotten lost while wandering the streets.

The authorities were enlisted in the search for Donahue, and they found her walking approximately three-blocks from the nursing home.

When Dade City police approached and identified Donahue, they alleged that she had a warrant for her arrest from 2011 related to a DUI charge. It was believed that Donahue was ordered to perform community service and complete an online class, and she allegedly did not log in for her instruction.

The officers said that they would have been in violation of the law if they did not detain her, and Donahue was taken into custody.

Donahue was booked and jailed without bail.

When her family learned about her arrest and incarceration, they became very angry and asserted that Donahue had never been charged with a crime in her lifetime.

Her daughter, who believed her mother should not be held in jail for an extended period, reported that her mom is a “little old Catholic lady” that is not dangerous to anyone.

Donahue’s daughter made calls to the Sheriff’s Office and Police Department to try to find out why her mother was not being released, and she was told that it would first have to be approved by a judge.

On October 6, after almost a week in custody, a county judge signed off on Donahue’s release. The woman was let out of jail that evening.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a DUI offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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