Disabled golf cart driver arrested

Morris Steinheimer
According to booking records at the St. Johns County jail, Morris Steinheimer was arrested near the intersection of A1A Ocean Avenue and A Street by officers with the St. Augustine Beach Police Department about 2:15 on Saturday, March 29, 2008.

Steinheimer, who has been at the center of controversy at St. Augustine Beach for some time, was jailed for refusing to sign a citation in violation of Florida Statute 318.14 3.

Steinheimer and his former wife, Mandy Fugate, are at odds with the Beach police over their use of a golf cart on the sidewalks in the area. Both Steinheimer and Fugate are impaired due to severe brain injuries. At issue is Steinheimer’s contention that the couple’s right to use the golf cart on city sidewalks is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act

Although Steinheimer, who will be 47 this December, and Fugate have been divorced since June 24th of last year, the couple remain together according to comments attributed to caregiver Sandy Middlemiss that appear in the local media.

Last year, St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Richard L. Hedges brought this issue before the St. Augustine Beach City Commission to determine if the Commission would enact an ordinance that might quiet the dispute with Steinheimer and Fugate; allowing them to operate their golf cart — despite a state law which prohibits it.

The arrest comes after several written warnings and a few citations from beach police because this time, Steinheimer refused to sign the citation. Steinheimer was later released on a $200 bond. It was reported that this is the first time Steinheimer has been arrested.