Home News DUI suspect to police: "My dog was driving"

DUI suspect to police: "My dog was driving"

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Reliford Cooper. Photo courtesy of Manatee County Sheriff's office.
Reliford Cooper. Photo courtesy of Manatee County Sheriff’s office.


A Sarasota, Florida man was arrested on Wednesday after failing to stop when an officer tried to pull him over.

According to NBC Chicago, it all started when a local deputy saw a white four-door car speeding in a residential neighborhood. The deputy tried pulling the car over, but the driver accelerated in an attempt to evade arrest and skidded into a ditch on the road.

While the car was skidding, the driver tried to regain control. The suspect overcorrected the car and ended up in another ditch. The car eventually crashed into a home before coming to a stop.

The driver, who was identified as Reliford Cooper, got out of the car and started running behind the homes in the neighborhood. The police used a K9 to track Cooper and found his shirt in front of a church.

Bryant CME churchgoers got involved in the chase to capture Reliford Cooper when they forced him out of the church and into police custody. Image source: Google Earth.
Bryant CME churchgoers got involved in the chase to capture Reliford Cooper when they forced him out of the church and into police custody. Image source: Google Earth.

Shortly after the police found Cooper’s shirt, the pastor of the church located a deputy and informed her that there was someone hiding in a bathroom in the church. Members of the church forced the man out of the building and he was taken into custody by the police.

According to police officials, Cooper started making nonsensical comments while he was being handcuffed. Cooper told the arresting officers that he wasn’t driving the car, he continued talking and said, “My dog was driving that car. I ran because I wanted to. You ain’t gonna find no drugs or guns on me.”

Officers at the scene smelled a strong odor of alcohol and marijuana emanating from Cooper. After he was handcuffed, he threw up and told the officers that he had a back injury. The officers took him to a hospital and later transported him to jail.

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