Father of Cape Coral man who drowned in March arrested for DUI, blames city

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Jeremiah Ballam
Jeremiah Ballam, 46. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

The father of a Cape Coral man who was found dead in a Cape Coral canal after being allowed to walk home alone drunk has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Cape Coral police say they arrested Jeremiah Ballam, 46, around 11 p.m. on Saturday after officers saw him fail to stop at a stop sign and drive at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.

Police say they initially saw Ballam fail to stop while making a right turn from Vincennes Blvd. onto Coronado Pkwy. Officers say as they followed Ballam, he reached speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour, so they turned on their lights and pulled him over.

Cape Coral police say Ballam appeared to be drunk and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath when they were speaking with him. Officers conducted a field sobriety test and say Ballam failed.

When the officers asked Ballam to place his hands behind his back, they say he told them “No,” tensed his muscles, and attempted to pull his arms away from the officer.

Police were able to place the cuffs on Ballam and take him into custody for driving under the influence and resisting arrest.

Cape Coral police say Ballam refused to provide a breath, blood or urine sample to test his level of intoxication.

While in custody, Cape Coral police say Ballam told them he had been drinking because he said Cape Coral killed his son and that it was the anniversary of his son’s death.

Ballam’s son, 22-year-old Jeremiah Ballam Jr., was found drunk on the street by Cape Coral police in March. They offered him help but eventually let him go.

A short time after police left Ballam Jr., he walked into a canal and drowned. The two officers who were involved are no longer with the Cape Coral Police Department.

Ballam Sr. was released from the Lee County Jail on Sunday morning on a $3,750 bond.

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