If you had DUI, cocaine, and lawn equipment on your Florida Man bingo card, congratulations! You win.
And let us introduce you to 68-year-old Gary Wayne Anderson, a hero who wouldn't let a decades-suspended driver's license, two prior drunk driving convictions, and a blood alcohol concentration three times the legal limit stop him from getting behind the wheel ... of a riding mower.
And he might've gotten away with it too, if he hadn't clipped the bumper of a Haines City Police cruiser during his escape.
B-I-N, No G-O
"It's never a good idea to get behind the wheel drunk," Chief Jim Elensky offered, "even if that wheel is to a Craftsman, Massey Ferguson or John Deere." Those are words to live by, words that might've been useful to Anderson earlier in the evening. As it was, police, who were responding to a separate incident at Rodriguez Fashion, spotted him astride a lawn mower (with an attached trailer) after hearing a crash and finding damage to the rear bumper of the police car.
Anderson, ever helpful, admitted to being drunk and hitting the cop car, but denied that he did any damage. He also denied taking cocaine, although blood tests confirmed otherwise, and accused police of putting the drug in his system while directing racial slurs at the officers. (Another Florida Man arrest trifecta, if you're scoring at home.) "I'm proud of the professional demeanor our officers showed when dealing with this heavily-intoxicated, belligerent offender," Chief Elensky added.
License to Mow
Why a riding mower? Well, according to police, Anderson hasn't had a valid driver's license since 1978 -- when the Bee Gees ruled the airwaves, the hottest car on the road was the Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Anderson was the ripe old age of 27. Local news reports that Anderson's BAC after the incident was a whopping .241, and he remains in the Polk County Jail on DUI charges (yes, that can happen on a lawnmower) and $3,000 bail.
Thank you for playing this week's edition of Florida Man Bingo. We can't wait to see what characters we meet next week!