By Kevin Deutsch
John Serino, the Parkland resident charged with vehicular homicide in the intoxicated driving crash that killed his passenger, tested positive for opioids after the wreck and recorded a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, according to newly released court records.
A blood sample taken from Serino, 57, more than five hours after the April 24 crash showed a .108 BAC at the time his blood was drawn, according to charging documents filed by the Sunrise Police Department.
Drivers are considered legally drunk in Florida with a BAC of .08 or higher.
Serino’s urine sample also showed the presence of the opioids oxycodone and oxymorphone and two antidepressant drugs, the records show.
Serino — CEO of The Original Frameless Shower Doors company — was “under the influence” and speeding on West Sunrise Boulevard when he crashed his Ferrari in a rollover accident, killing passenger Victor Battaglia, a 54-year-old father of four, according to police records.
The crash report states that the businessman crashed through a fence at West Sunrise Boulevard and the Sawgrass Expressway’s southbound ramp between 5:07 and 5:10 a.m.
Police said Serino drove his gray 2019 812 Superfast Ferrari “in a careless or negligent manner” and “too fast for conditions” while “under the influence of medications/drugs/alcohol.” The sports car traveled over a berm and went airborne before hitting a tree as it descended, winding up on its roof.
Around 9:40 a.m., roughly four-and-a-half hours after the crash, Sunrise Police and Florida Highway Patrol received several calls “of a white male stumbling from the wooded area,” later identified by police as Serino, just west of the crash site, the report states.
A Sunrise Police officer arrived and saw Serino “laying on the side of the roadway in a fetal position,” the report states.
Serino was taken to Broward Health Medical Center for treatment, and his blood and urine samples were taken into police custody as evidence.
After a five-month investigation, Serino was arrested last month on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, DUI with property damage, and reckless driving with property damage, records show.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Serino has filed court papers in Broward County alleging he was served “chemically altered” or “drugged” drinks in the $800-per person VIP section of Scarlett’s Cabaret, a strip club in Hallandale Beach, where he and Battaglia were hanging out before the crash.
Before that, the men were drinking at Blue Martini in Fort Lauderdale, according to police.
“The last thing [Serino] remembered was the clock inside the Ferrari showing the time was around 12 a.m. as he was driving,” police wrote in their crash report. “Serino stated that he does not recall what happened, only that he awoke inside the Ferrari and that it had been in an accident. Serino advised he was able to free himself and exit the vehicle.”
Serino told police he stumbled out of the car and made his way toward the roadway, where he was later found by police and paramedics.
After Sunrise Police took Serino into custody in Parkland on Sept. 30, detectives said they brought him to an interview room, where Serino “clarified that he wanted to make a statement without his attorney being present,” according to police records.
“During the interview, the defendant made several incriminating statements regarding the incident on April 24.”
Serino is being held without bond in the Broward Main Jail.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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