Man arrested in DUI case also had squirrel inside his shirt
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 8:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 8:08 p.m.
The deputy watched as the driver of a silver pickup with one operating headlight swerved all over the road Saturday night before nearly plowing head-on into a stopped vehicle.
The truck lurched away and the deputy pulled over the man, suspecting that his reckless driving was because he was drunk.
That much was apparently true, as Warren Thomas Michael III of Fleming Island, near Jacksonville, later registered a .156 blood-alcohol level, nearly twice the legal limit in Florida.
But Michael told the Clay County deputy something else was wrong: Inside his shirt, a small squirrel was “eating” him.
The deputy looked and sure enough, the 23-year-old had a small squirrel peeking out from his clothing.
As Michael spoke, the deputy smelled alcohol on his breath. Other signs of intoxication were evident as well. Michael's eyes were bloodshot and glassy. His face was flushed and he continuously mumbled to the deputy, slurring his words.
The deputy asked the man for his license and registration. Michael fumbled searching for them, dropping the items he was holding as he looked. He couldn't seem to find either.
At this point, the deputy asked Michael to “secure the squirrel” and exit the vehicle.
He watched Michael sway behind the truck, trying to maintain his balance without holding onto anything.
The deputy asked if he would be willing to participate in sobriety tests and Michael agreed, but his performance was less than stellar.
Michael swayed while he walked, having to grab the side of the truck to keep from falling over. He raised his arms to try to maintain balance, then steadied himself. He placed his foot down twice while trying to stand on one leg. He forgot the directions, neglecting to count out loud while he performed each exercise.
The deputy then arrested Michael for DUI and took him to the county jail.
Michael's girlfriend, Mary Rock, was at the scene watching.
Rock explained to Michael that he was drunk and should not have been driving. Having dated Michael for over a year, she told the deputy that she knew when he was drunk and would often try to tell him. But she said he refuses to listen to her and “does what he wants anyway.”
The squirrel was released to Rock without charges.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.