James Riley Jackson was booked into the county jail on Stock Island on Sept. 9. MCSO/CONTRIBUTED

A 20-year-old Key West man was arrested Sept. 9 after Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies said they caught him intoxicated behind the wheel of a golf cart that had been reported stolen from the Key West Golf Club.

At about 5 p.m., James Riley Jackson was pulled over near MM 5 on U.S. 1, after people reported a drunk driver in a golf cart at the Key Haven Shell station.

Jackson had a passenger, Colton Ray Reid, 18, of Old Hickory, Tennessee, who was charged with felony grand theft and property damage. 

Police reports piece together accusations that the two young men left a trail of vandalism Saturday afternoon from the local golf course on College Road to northbound on the Overseas Highway at the Boca Chica Bridge.

“Jackson stated they rented the golf cart and had permission to take it off the property of the Key West Golf Club,” according to the Key West police arrest report.

But the $16,500 tan Yamaha golf cart he’d been steering was seriously damaged, police said.

The front wheels were pointed in opposite directions, due to a mangled axle. The cart’s body was banged up and stained with mud. The windshield was missing.

On the floorboard was a plastic bag holding two cans of the malt liquor beverage Twisted Tea, which Reid said belonged to Jackson. 

Also in the cart was a set of golf clubs that didn’t belong to either of the two. Reid said they rented those from the golf club, too. 

Jackson had a fake South Carolina driver’s license with his given name but a different date of birth showing he was old enough to buy booze. Reid, who gave his occupation as “construction,” had his Tennessee learner’s permit in his wallet.

Jackson, listed as a salesman in his booking record, was taken to the county jail on Stock Island and charged with DUI, larceny, vehicle theft, criminal mischief/property damage, possession of alcohol while underage and possession of a fake ID, according to the sheriff’s office.

Both Jackson and Reid spent the night in jail and were released at 12:59 p.m. on Sunday, according to MCSO jail records. The bond amount for each was listed as zero.

Efforts to reach Jackson and for comment were unsuccessful and it was unclear at press time whether they had retained legal representation. A message sent to the golf club wasn’t returned.

The Key West Golf Club’s management told police they wanted to pursue charges. An employee said they’d received five or six complaints of Jackson and Reid driving the cart erratically before the DUI stop and leaving damage to a fence at the 14th hole.

The employee sent the course ranger out to find them, but Jackson and Reid couldn’t be found on the property and neither could the golf cart they’d rented.

The golf cart’s windshield was found left behind at the course, police said.

Gwen Filosa is The Keys Weekly’s Digital Editor, and has covered Key West news, culture and assorted oddities since she moved to the island in 2011. She was previously a reporter for the Miami Herald and WLRN public radio. Before moving to the Keys, Gwen was in New Orleans for a decade, covering criminal courts for The Times-Picayune. In 2006, the paper’s staff won the Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news and the Public Service Medal for their coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She remains a devout Saints fan. She has a side hustle as a standup comedian, and has been a regular at Comedy Key West since 2017. She is also an acclaimed dogsitter, professional Bingo caller and a dedicated Wilco fan.