Mayor caught drinking while driving… a lawn mower

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The mayor of Aynor, South Carolina, was pulled over by police for operating a vehicle with an open container, but he wasn’t driving a car, he was riding a lawn mower.

According to dash cam video from the Horry County Police Department, a police cruiser can be seen pulling up behind a riding lawn mower driven by a man identified by police as Aynor mayor John Gardner.

There was no police report generated about the incident because it was a contact/traffic stop, according to police spokeswoman Krystal Dotson.

In the video, Gardner continues driving despite the blue lights going off behind him, and police officers can be heard laughing in the background.

A female officer is heard saying, “He’s not stopping.” The cruiser follows the lawn mower, which weaves all over the road until both vehicles come to a stop after an officer shouts at Gardner.

Gardner gets off of the lawn mower, and the officers meet him in front of their police car. At one point, Gardner moves a “can of Miller Lite” on the lawn mower, and the female police officer shines a flashlight on it.

The female officer questions him about the beer and his intentions, as the mayor apologizes repeatedly.

The male officer tells Gardner, “You were driving like this,” making a swerving hand motion. He then points out, “You also have an open container. You messed up.”

Gardner replies, “I know, and I apologize for that.”

A few moments later, Gardner can be seen removing the drink from the lawn mower, moving off-camera, and then returning with the can. The male officer continues to speak with Gardner, saying, “I would hate to see you in the news […] that would not be good.”

After that, the officers move off-camera to the side of the patrol vehicle, and Gardner remains leaning against the lawn mower in front of the police car. Then he stumbles.

The female officer asks, “Whoa, you alright?”

Gardner and the officers remain off-camera for the remainder of the dash cam video.

As blue lights continue to flash, the female officer can be heard six minutes later, saying, “We have one of your officers on the way up here right now.”

Gardner then asks, “Can we go to town hall?” The female officer replies, “Right now? Why would I want to go to town hall?” No further response can be heard.

A minute later, a third party gets on the lawn mower and drives off.

Police said Gardner wasn’t charged or cited for the incident, but the level of embarrassment he’s now facing is likely a punishment he didn’t expect.

David Thompson with Aynor Police Department released a statement on Wednesday:

The situation involving Mayor Gardner was neither initiated or investigated by the Aynor Police Department, therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to make a comment on another agencies case.

Tony Godsey, the town manager for Aynor, said they have no comment other than “he wasn’t charged, so the town is not going to do anything further.”

You can watch the dash cam video below:

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