Drunk driver hits mailbox in Sebastian as his vehicle catches on fire

Paul Arnold Wolff
Paul Arnold Wolff

A Sebastian man was arrested Monday night on charges of DUI after striking a mailbox and catching his vehicle on fire, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

At approximately 8:00 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the 13000 block of Old Dixie Highway in reference to a call for an auto accident leaving the scene. The complainant stated she saw a small gray SUV hit her mailbox and advised her husband left to follow.

A few moments later, deputies received another call that an SUV was on fire at the Inlet At Sebastian Condominiums, just north of where the same type of vehicle hit the mailbox, according to the affidavit.

As deputies arrived, they saw a male driver being pulled out of an SUV by several onlookers. The driver was identified as Paul Wolff, 42, of Sebastian. 

Witnesses told deputies they heard a loud crash and observed the SUV on the side of the road with the hazard lights on.

“The driver drove off, and they observed the vehicle go all over the road and into oncoming traffic lanes. (The witnesses) observed the vehicle to have sparks coming from it and saw smoke,” the deputy said.

It’s still unknown if Wolff set his SUV on fire or if a mechanical problem caused it.

Wolff told the onlookers, “don’t call the cops,” as he was being pulled from the SUV. 

“As I approached Wolff, I could smell an overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage which was emanating from Wolff’s breath and person. As I made contact with Wolff, he had slurred speech and difficulty standing up on his own,” the deputy said.

Wolff then turned around, put his hands behind his back, and told the deputy “arrest me” before falling into the bushes, the affidavit said.

When a deputy asked Wolff to submit to field sobriety exercises, he stated: “not without a lawyer.” Wolff also refused to provide a breath sample.

Wolff was charged with one count of DUI and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. His license has been suspended since Dec. 2020. He was transported to the Indian River County Jail, where his bond was set at $3,000.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.