A Bradenton man who was busted after a high-speed chase allegedly told deputies his dog was the one who was driving at the time.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy saw Reliford Cooper III, 26, speeding last Wednesday night in the 1200 block of 21st Avenue E.
The deputy tried to pull Cooper over, but Cooper kept driving. Deputies say he ran a stop sign and turned several times, driving into two ditches and finally crashing into a home on 18th Street E.
Cooper then ran from the scene to a nearby church, where the pastor found him hiding in a bathroom, deputies said.
Cooper was taken into custody without further incident.
Deputies said Cooper, who smelled of alcohol and marijuana, asked who was chasing him and said "you slow as [expletive].”
Cooper then said he wasn’t driving the car, according to the report. “My dog was driving that car,” he reportedly said. “I ran ‘cause I wanted to. You ain’t gonna find no drugs or guns on me.”
Deputies did not say whether a dog was in the car at the time.
Cooper told deputies his back hurt as a result of the crash, so he was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital before he was booked into the Manatee County Jail.
Cooper is facing charges of driving while intoxicated, causing property damage, fleeing from police and leaving an accident scene. In addition, he was cited for running a stop sign, and deputies said he was also found to be driving on a suspended license.