‘My dog was driving that car’: Florida DUI suspect blames crash, chase on his dog

Indianapolis Area Crime

Reliford Cooper (Manatee County Jail)

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SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 12, 2015) – When a Florida man was accused of driving into two ditches and crashing into a home, he blamed the real driver: his dog.

Police in Manatee County, Fla., arrested Reliford Cooper Wednesday after a deputy saw him speeding and driving erratically, reports WFTS. Investigators tried to pull over Cooper’s car around 8 p.m., but Cooper took off, going into a ditch when he tried to make a turn. He then went through another ditch before his car crashed into a home.

Deputies said he got out and ran to a nearby church, where he hid in the bathroom. People at the church forced him to leave, and the deputy took Cooper into custody.

“I wasn’t driving that car,” Cooper told police. “Who was chasing me? You’re slow as (expletive)!”

But Cooper’s most notable claim concerned who was behind the wheel.

“My dog was driving that car. I ran because I wanted to. You ain’t gonna find no drugs or guns on me.”

Cooper then started throwing up and said he’d hurt his back.

The deputy said Cooper smelled like alcohol and marijuana. He went to an area hospital before being taken to jail.

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