News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2007

Trapped in vehicle, man toasts officers while waiting for rescue

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

A man found trapped in a vehicle partially submerged in a backwater of the Tennessee River appeared to toast police officers before chugging the beers that landed him in jail for driving under the influence, Decatur police said Monday.

Police responding to a call in Northwest Decatur noticed a green Lincoln Navigator sitting in the water as they drove by on Washington Street early Sunday, said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

A man later identified as Jorge Osori Taverez, 21, of Russellville sat behind the wheel of the sport utility vehicle, which was submerged "up to the windows," Mathews said.

"As they (the officers) walked up to the edge of the water, Taverez started drinking a can of bee," Mathews said.

"When the officers called out to him, he stuck the beer out the window like he was toasting them

Police called the fire department to pull Tavarez out.

"While they were waiting, he turned the music on in his car. The music stopped a short time later, because water got into the electric system," Mathews said.

As firefighters arrived, Taverez tossed an empty can into the water and opened another beer, Mathews said.

After firefighters pulled Tavarez from his vehicle, police arrested him on charges of driving under the influence, having an open alcohol container and littering.

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