Florida DUI lawyer arrested after drunken altercation at Wawa, police say: 'You don't know who I am'

Photo: Sumter County Sheriffs Office

An Ocala criminal defense and DUI lawyer found himself behind bars after a late-night drunken altercation with his girlfriend at a gas station, according to an arrest affidavit from the Wildwood Police Department. 

Pravesh Bobby Rumalla, 54, was arrested and charged with disorderly intoxication after the incident that unfolded at Wawa located at 11770 North U.S. 301 in Wildwood just before midnight on Feb. 22. 

Police responded to the gas station after someone called to report a "physical disturbance." According to an arrest affidavit, witnesses told police that they saw Rumalla "bear hugging" a woman, trying to pull her and causing a "terrible scene." One witness who was a few gas pumps away said she saw Rumalla allegedly "wrestle" with the woman, who still had a gas pump in her hand. 

Rumalla's girlfriend told police that they had just left a bar and he "drank way too much," the affidavit said. When they arrived at the gas station to fill up, she said she had Rumalla's phone in her hand, which prompted an altercation between the two. It continued to escalate until the woman ran inside the gas station. An employee held the door closed so Rumalla couldn't get inside, the affidavit said. 

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Police spoke to Rumalla, who maintained that he didn't do anything wrong. Police said they could "immediately" tell that he was drunk based on his slurred speech and the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, the affidavit said. 

When police asked Rumalla if he was drinking, he responded, "Yeah, yeah, of course. Who cares?" Police then asked him how much he had to drink, he said, "It doesn't matter. I'm not driving." 

Police continued to ask Rumalla questions about the incident, but he wouldn't answer questions directly, according to the affidavit. 

"I'm not going to jail, I didn't do anything wrong," Rumalla said at one point, according to the affidavit. 

Rumalla then stated several times that he was a lawyer. 

"I know the law, I'm a lawyer. … There's no law against being drunk, there's a law against making a scene. I'm a lawyer. … You're really going to regret it, you don't know who I am," Rumalla told police, according to the arrest affidavit. 

The conversation continued. 

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"I told Pravesh he's at the public establishment and do not scream here and he began arguing with me very loudly, saying that he knows the law and asked me, ‘Do you think you know the law better than Bobby Rumalla? I don’t think you know me, you'll regret it tomorrow,'" the affidavit said. 

Rumalla is a criminal defense and DUI lawyer in Marion County who has been in the business for over 20 years, according to his law practice's website. 

Police reviewed surveillance video from Wawa, which shows a physical altercation occur. Police, however, could not discern why. The police officer also said he didn't see Rumalla or the woman hit each other on the video. 

"Due to Pravesh being intoxicated and endangering the safety of another person, and was causing a public disturbance in a public place, he was placed under arrest for disorderly intoxication and transported to the Sumter County Jail," the affidavit said. 

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In the patrol car, Rumalla told police that he had "maybe three Jamesons to drink" that night, the affidavit said. 

Rumalla has since been released from the Sumter County Jail after posting $150 bond. Court records show he's scheduled to appear in court on April 17 for an arraignment.