Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Man accused of taking plane on drunken joyride

Police arrested a man accused of taking a small plane from the Boulder City Airport in Nevada without permission, then taking off and landing repeatedly in a drunken joyride.

Paul Michael Weddle, 47, was arrested on DUI charges after he blew a 0.132 percent on his preliminary alcohol breath test. Weddle was arrested when officers were able to stop the plane after he landed it a fifth time.

Officers watched Weddle flying “in a reckless manner,” even coming close to another plane after an abrupt turn. Weddle wouldn’t show his hands to the arresting officer and was eventually tackled by police. He later told officers he wanted to complete the take-off and landing portion to obtain his pilot’s licence.

There wasn’t much damage to the airport, although the plane knocked over a taxiway light during his struggle to keep the plane on the pavement. Weddle, from Henderson, was briefly hospitalised before being booked at the Clark County Detention Center on charges of DUI and motor vehicle theft. He has not yet been formally charged by prosecutors.

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