A man who police say was flying a stolen plane is now facing DUI charges along with several other charges. The man accused of stealing the plane was identified as Paul Michael Waddle, and police have charged him with DUI/aircraft, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle/aircraft and obstructing a police officer, according to a March 4 report from KVVU FOX 5 Vegas.
Waddle's stolen plane DUI adventure took place Sunday night at the Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada. When questioned as to why he committed the crime, police say he explained to them that he was simply trying to "complete the takeoff and landing portion of his pilot's license."
Police were alerted of Weddle's stolen plane DUI adventure after a maintenance supervisor with Scenic Airlines reported the stolen Cessna 208 Caravan plane to authorities.
When police arrived at the airport, they witnessed Weddle recklessly taking off and landing the plane. Officers also stated that the plane made a daring 360-degree turn before stopping dangerously close to another plane.
"In the 20-plus years I've been here, it's the first time we've done a felony stop on an airplane," Sgt. John Glenn with the Boulder City Police Department explained to news outlets.
Officers managed to stop the plane after Weddle had landed it a fifth time. After being ordered out of the stolen plane, Weddle refused to show officers his hands. He continued to ignore commands and police were forced to tackle him.
"He kept reaching for his waistband. The officers decided to go hands-on with him. They were close enough to do that. They took him to the ground, placed him in handcuffs," Glenn said.
After officers were able to subdue the man, they immediately suspected that Waddle was drunk because his eyes were blood-shot red and he wreaked of alcohol.
This was confirmed after Weddle submitted to a breathalyzer test in which he blew a .132. He was charged with DUI along with other charges and he was taken to jail after a brief stay at the hospital due to injuries he sustained during his stole plane DUI adventure.
"I don't know if he was in a flight school. He wasn't associated with a flight school with us. We don't have one here," Glenn said.