Stoned Driver Took "Selfie" With Arresting Officer
Iowa City cop "happily obliged" request from suspect
AUGUST 7--After being taken into custody for driving while under the influence of marijuana, a 20-year-old Iowa man asked his arresting officer to pose with him for a Snapchat “selfie,” a request that the cop “happily obliged,” according to a criminal complaint.
Gilbert Phelps was behind the wheel of a 2000 Toyota Camry around 2 AM yesterday when the vehicle was pulled over for speeding and having an obstructed registration sticker.
During his questioning of Phelps, Iowa City Police Department Officer Ben Hektoen detected the odor of “ingested alcohol” inside the car. Hektoen reported that Phelps copped to “smoking marijuana prior to driving,” adding that the suspect displayed “measurable impairment” during a series of field sobriety tests.
After a Breathalyzer test registered a .0 blood alcohol content, Phelps was examined by a “certified Drug Recognition Expert” who concluded that Phelps was “under the influence of cannabis and was unsafe to operate a motor vehicle.”
While Phelps was being tested, Hektoen noted, “the defendant requested to take a SnapChat selfie with me to which I happily obliged.” That selfie, seen above, shows a beaming Phelps in the foreground, while Hektoen gives the camera a thumbs-up sign.
The officer added that Phelps told him he “captioned the photo using emoji icons showing a police car, next to a passenger car, next to a tow truck.”
Phelps posed later for a second photo (seen at left) that was snapped by a jail employee.
Phelps was charged with operating while under the influence, a misdemeanor. Free on bond, he is scheduled for an August 17 preliminary hearing in District Court. (1 page)