Nailing a backflip wasn’t enough to save a Ohio man from being arrested for drunk driving recently, but it did stun police officers into a moment of surprised respect caught on body camera footage.
Despite impressing the Broadview Heights police officers with a smooth backflip before sunrise on Nov. 23, Tanner Watson was still put in handcuffs and charged with speeding and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, local news outlet WOIO reported.
Footage of the moment was released on social media. Watson puts his hat on the bed of his pick-up truck before sticking a standing backflip on the sidewalk next to it.
The officers laugh. “That’s good, man. I can’t do that,” one officer says, while another one adds, “That’s pretty good.”
The full eight-minute recording of the traffic stop shows how the situation intensified from there, resulting in Watson’s arrest.
After pulling his truck over, an officer tells Watson that his “driving’s pretty bad,” his eyes are “super glossy” and he can “smell the booze” coming off him, before the officer says he wants to run some sobriety tests.
Before the backflip, the officer had asked Watson to follow his finger with his eyes, noting six clues of impairment during that test, WOIO reported. The test took about a minute and a half, during which Watson said “I’m getting a little dizzy over here” and asked whether the test had a time limit.
The backflip came after Watson struggled to understand directions for the second test: walking in a straight line. Officers attempted to press forward with the test as Watson, appearing to slur his words, argued that what he sees as a straight line might look different from their angle.
“Have you had any psychedelic drugs today, man?” the officer asks in the footage. “Just picture a straight line going down the sidewalk.”
The officer recording the footage engaged Watson in a four-minute back-and-forth over the rules of the test, which escalated until Watson was shouting clarifying questions at the officer. Eventually the officer tires of re-explaining the test and places Watson in cuffs.
Watson asked what proof there was of his intoxication while being put in the police car. “You can’t tell me what a straight line is,” the officer responded. “I think that’s pretty solid proof.”
Watson made his initial court appearance on Dec. 1, WOIO reported.