Police: Man stopped for suspected drunken driving does backflip to prove sobriety
BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO/Gray News) - A man arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired literally flipped out in front of police as he tried to improvise a backflip as his own form of a sobriety test.
Tanner Watson, who ultimately was charged with speeding and OVI, nailed the landing of the backflip that was caught on police bodycam video. He even received some praise from officers.
However, the officers with the Broadview Heights Police Department also made it clear that operating a vehicle while under the influence is a serious matter, and a gymnastics move, no matter how impressive, does not constitute a drunken driving test.
Police spotted Watson’s white Ram 1500 speeding on Nov. 23, according to WOIO.
Officers on the scene said Watson, who was driving and had three passengers in the vehicle, came to an awkward stop, had extremely glossy eyes, and had a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle.
When asked by police how many beers he had, Tanner initially told police two to three. He later said he had three to four beers.
According to a report, however, police observed six clues of impairment as Watson took a horizontal gaze test.
As the officer instructed Watson to keep his eyes on the tip of the officer’s finger, Watson said something on the body cam video that was difficult to decipher, and then told police, “You went back and forth too many times. I’m getting a little dizzy over here.”
Then, as Watson was asked to walk a straight line as part of a police sobriety test, he appeared to become uncooperative or even a bit belligerent.
The Broadview Heights Officer asked Watson at one point if he had done any “psychedelic drugs.”
Watson said he was not under the influence of any drugs, but then began to yell at the officer and repeatedly asked how he wanted him to walk a straight line.
The police officer told Watson he cannot explain the walking test any clearer to him, and then told Watson to turn around and place his hands behind his back.
That’s when Watson was handcuffed and placed in back of a cruiser.
The OVI suspect asked what proof do police have that he was driving while intoxicated.
“You can’t tell me what a straight line is, I think that’s pretty solid proof,” the officer said.
Watson was put in a cell to detox according to the police report and charged with OVI and speeding.
He made his initial appearance in court on Dec. 1.
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