Clearwater Beach Joyride Streamed Live on Facebook, Police Say
He was livestreaming himself as he drove over chairs and umbrellas, Clearwater police said.
CLEARWATER – A man is accused of reckless, drunken driving on Clearwater Beach while streaming on Facebook Live, according to the Clearwater Police Department.
Ryan M. Stiles, 27, of Clearwater, is charged with one cont each of obstructing or resisting an officer without violence, threatening a public servant, driving while license is suspended (second offense), criminal mischief, fleeing or eluding (high speed/wanton disregard), DUI, leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage, and reckless driving. Additional charges may be forthcoming from other agencies for his drive onto Caladesi Island, police said. He has a prior DUI and multiple previous arrests in Pinellas County.
Police first heard of the incident about at 4:26 p.m. of a possible drunken driver at U.S. 19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The first caller was watching Stiles on a Facebook Live broadcast. Other calls came into the police communications center about the broadcast. One was from as far away as Calilfornia, officers said.
Stiles drove west to Clearwater Beach in a 1996 Jeep Cherokee and entered the beach area at the dead end of Papaya Street at 4:41 p.m. Officers said he was reported to have driven over chairs and umbrellas as he made his way north on the sand onto Caladesi Island. Nine minutes after he drove onto the beach, he was taken in to custody at the north tip of Caladesi. While on
Memorial Causeway, he struck a vehicle east of Island Way, causing minor damage but no injuries, police said.
After being taken in to custody and taken to the police station for questioning, he took off his belt and swung it around inside a holding cell, damaging one of the door windows. Police said he refused a breath test.
No one was injured during the incident.
For information about the Clearwater police, go to clearwaterpolice.org.
Photo of Stiles is from a previous arrest. Photo of broken window in the Clearwater police station courtesy of the Clearwater Police Department.
Clearwater Police | Clearwater Beach | Caladesi Island | Crime | Arrests | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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