Florida Keys

A bartender was too drunk to walk — so he stole a golf cart and drove home, cops say


Not taking “no” for an answer landed a Louisiana bartender in hot water and an overnight stay in county jail, according to his arrest report.

Police say John Liautaud, 23, stole a golf cart from Robbie’s Marina in Lower Matecumbe Key because he reasoned he was too drunk to walk to where he was staying — about a half mile south of the popular roadside attraction.

The day started on a happier note, when he rented a kayak from Robbie’s Thursday morning with his girlfriend. They spent a good part of the day fishing — and drinking, according to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit. When they returned to the marina, the couple got into an argument and Liautaud said he wanted to go back to his grandfather’s house, where the couple was staying during their Keys visit.

But, he had too much to drink and didn’t feel like walking back, so he asked a Robbie’s staffer if he could get a ride back to the house in one of the marina’s golf carts. The employee said no, so Liautaud waited until the staffer left work and he drove off in the golf cart instead, according to the arrest report.

Liautaud’s grandfather lives on the ocean side of U.S. 1 at mile marker 77. Liautaud drove the cart from Robbie’s at mile marker 77.5 and left it on the bay side of the highway and walked across U.S. 1 to the house.

Deputies arrived at the house around 7 p.m. to respond to a domestic dispute. Liautaud said because of the amount of alcohol he consumed, he did not know how the argument with his girlfriend began.

When deputies asked him about the golf cart, he said he planned to take it back to the marina and that his family knows the owners of Robbie’s “very well.”

That may be true, but whatever relationship exists doesn’t translate in Liautaud being let off the hook. The marina’s owner, Michael Reckwerdt, chose to pursue a third-degree felony grand theft charge against Liautaud.

Liataud was booked into county jail Thursday night and released late Friday afternoon. His bond information was not immediately available.