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Man charged with evidence tampering and possession of drug equipment after a car crashed into a mobile home

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Steven Dewayne Rippy, 54, was arrested yesterday afternoon after troopers charged him with taking evidence from the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury.

Florida Highway Patrol Troopers and Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies responded yesterday to a crash in the Hidden Oaks mobile home park, where a car had hit a residence and the driver was unresponsive, possibly due to a drug overdose prior to the accident.

The owners of the mobile home that was struck provided troopers with surveillance footage showing that Rippy, who was believed to have been a passenger in the car before the accident, arrived at the scene and tried to open the passenger door. When he found that it was locked, he reportedly went to the driver’s side, opened the door and unlocked the other doors, then went back to the passenger side and placed items from the interior of the car into a bag. Rippy then walked away with the bag.

A trooper made contact with Rippy at the driver’s residence, about a block away from the crash. Post Miranda, Rippy reportedly admitted that he entered the car and removed a bag, which he said was his. Rippy gave consent to a search of the bag, and the trooper reportedly found a baggie with heroin residue. Rippy reportedly said he had “shot up” earlier in the morning.

Rippy has been charged with tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has four felony convictions and eight misdemeanor convictions and is being held on $25,000 bail.

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Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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