ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A man accused of operating a single-engine plane while under the influence was arrested early Sunday after landing at the St. Lucie County International Airport, according to affidavits obtained Monday.
David Wayne King, 36, of New Port Richey, was arrested on a felony reckless operation of an aircraft while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage charge after a St. Lucie County Sheriff's helicopter pilot reported seeing his plane flying very low and trying to land several times.
The incidents happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
A passenger in the plane, 47-year-old John Gibson, of Tarpon Springs, also was arrested. Investigators found 15 alprazolam pills in his pocket and a pipe with possible marijuana residue. He was arrested on charges including possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and drug equipment possession and/or use.
After the single-engine plane landed, King told a Florida Highway Patrol investigator he was a pilot and had flown to the airport in northern St. Lucie County.
The FHP official smelled alcohol on King's breath and reported his eyes were watery and bloodshot. King said the passenger had a pilot's license, though was "to(o) drunk to fly."
After conducting field sobriety exercises, the FHP official arrested King. King declined to take a breath test.
A St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputy arrested Gibson, who initially refused to exit the aircraft.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
One person will win a three-year lease on a 2013 Honda Civic Lx Sedan automatic.
Click to see the latest mugshots, plus this week's wanted fugitives.
This feature packed upgrade brings you faster performance, easier navigation, and stunning improvements to photos, video and readability.
Latest Local News Stories