Man Arrested for DUI Blames Squirrel Under His Shirt
When police stopped a 23-year-old man in Florida for drunk driving, he blamed a squirrel “eating him” for his silver pickup weaving in and out of lane, as Michael Walsh writes for the New York Daily News.
He then lifted his shirt to reveal a small squirrel clinging to his chest. The incident happened last Saturday night on U.S. 17 in Fleming Island, FL, where authorities arrested Warren Thomas Michael III for driving under the influence (DUI) and driving without a seat belt, according to Dan Scanlan writing for The Florida Times-Union.
Michael talked about his squirrel with slurred, mumbled and profanity-laden speech. His bloodshot eyes appeared glassy above his red cheeks, the [police arrest] report describes. […]
Earlier Michael’s car allegedly swerved in and out of lanes, ran off the road and almost hit someone. That person called the authorities. When [Officer JC] Saunders arrived, he reportedly witnessed Michael’s car weave back and forth and cross the fog line onto the grass.
Scanlan reports that Michael underwent a field sobriety test after police secured the squirrel and that his girlfriend “came by the get the truck and squirrel,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. The arrest report said the two breathalyzer samples taken on Michael read .145 and .156, which are both over Florida’s legal driving limit of .08. Michael has since been released on bail, Scanlan writes.
Although, as Scanlan writes, a man who answered the phone at Michael’s home said he did not know if the squirrel was a pet, a Fox23news.com report reveals that Michael and his girlfriend have (aptly) named the squirrel DUI, which they pronounce “Dewey.”
According to Squirrel Refuge, a squirrel enthusiast site:
You cannot ‘discipline’ a squirrel. If you’re prone to los[ing] your temper, hitting or throwing an animal that scratches, bites, chews or damages your property, then squirrels are NOT for you! Squirrels do not forget mistreatment even if it only happens once! It’s in its nature to be ‘squirrely’ and wary of humans. If you share your home with any specie of squirrel, just assume that you will at one point or another get a bite (or two, three…), and you will certainly get scratched, and you will find teeth marks on everything your squirrel can get his teeth on. This is all part of the nature of being a squirrel.
You can see a video about the arrest here, featuring Michael and “DUI” the squirrel:
And here is a video a student made for a contest, featuring a squirrel who was arrested for not wearing a seatbelt, among other things, and who became an activist speaking out against distracted driving: