Autoway Floyd

What in the world could that mean?  Well, that’s the real name of one of the first DWI defendants I arrested. And as unusual as his name is, so were the circumstances surrounding this incident.

On a hot, humid day, I was dispatched to a 10-50 PD (accident involving property damage).  The scene was on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, and involved one vehicle that had cleaned out ditches on both sides of the road.  The car had a lot of damage, but no one was injured.   As I approached, I noticed about a dozen people standing around and one of them came up and identified himself as an ABC (alcohol) Enforcement Officer.  He was in plain clothes, but was wearing a gun and huge badge on his belt.

“What happened here?”  I asked, loud enough for all to hear.

One of the largest men I’ve ever seen in my life stepped forward and he was obviously drunk.

“When I was driving down the road …” He started out OK, but then he started mumbling and making ridiculous, drunken statements.

I introduced myself to him, shook his hand and he told me his name was Autoway Floyd.

“Autoway,” I then said, “Looks to me like you’ve had too much to drink to be driving.”  That really got his attention.

“You’re not gonna take me to Jail for no DUI!!”  With all the confidence in the world, he said.

I didn’t respond, but his wrists were so large that my handcuffs wouldn’t have fit him anyway.

With that, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that everybody else, included my fellow enforcement officer in civilian clothes, was wandering away and positioning themselves a safe distance away.   It felt to me like they were arranging ringside seats to see little ole young Trooper me, get his butt kicked.  This was my first REAL test.  Would I die on this isolated dirt road, or would I develop an acceptable line of bullshit and possibly survive?  With limited options, I gave it a try.

“Autoway, it’s your car isn’t it? “  I started out.

“Yes.” was his reply.   

“Well,” I said, “I’ve got to put something on this damn wreck report.  Come on over here and help me fill it out.”

I went around to my side of my Patrol Car and sat down.  Then, I invited him to also sit down on the passenger side.  He did, but wouldn’t close the door.   We sat there for a few minutes while I pretended to fill out the report. (I was scared to death but tried not to show it).  The spectators were starting to mill around now, eagerly awaiting the beginning of bloodshed.

”Autoway,” I finally said, “I’m about to burn up from the heat.  How about closing that door so we’re not air conditioning the whole world.”

Ever so cautious, he closed the door.  At the very instant he closed that door … I threw her in gear and put the petal to the metal.  My career as a State Trooper was now getting off the ground.  Our conversation went something like this…

“You little son of a bitch!” He said, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Autoway, you’re under arrest for DUI.”  I firmly stated.

“I’ll wreck us!”  He threatened. “All I’ve gotta do is grab the steering wheel.”

“You could do that Autoway, but so long as my little scrawny ass is under this steering wheel, you can bet on one thing … The wreck will be on your side, not mine!”

“Sooner or later, you’re gonna stop and then I’ll jump and run.”

“I’d have to shoot you, Autoway!  And I don’t want to do that.  There’s no way I could fight you, you’d kill me!”

We kept talking and before long we were quite friendly.  I even stopped for a few traffic lights without incident … But I kept running my mouth like a sewing machine.  When we arrived at the Jail, I got out of my side and said “Come on, Autoway.”   (Our procedure then, was to present the subject to the Jailer, go to the Magistrate’s Office to get a warrant for him and then return to the Jail and give the warrant to the Jailer for serving).  He followed me like a lamb to the Jailer’s desk.  I made it a point to politely introduce him to the two Jailers present.  I then left for the Magistrate’s Office and when I returned about fifteen minutes later, there were four Jailers now … And they all looked like they’d been trying to break up a dog fight.  Being a Rookie, I didn’t really know any of them well.

“Trooper,” one of them spoke up and said, “How the hell did you get that fella in here by yourself?   Lucky for us it was shift change, because it took all four of us to get him into a cell.”


I never told them how.  I just let them wonder.