PSA: Sailor Did Not Use a Raccoon to Fool a Breathalyzer
Lately, a story has been circulating through such reputable sites as CBS Detroit (later edited) and the UK’s The Telegraph (also later edited) about a drunk sailor using a raccoon to trick the built-in breathalyzer in his car, which then passed out, was tossed on the floor, woke up, and attacked the sailor, causing him to drive into a pool.
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As great of a thought as that is, and as supremely hilarious as the story of Drunk Popeye and Ricky the Raging Raccoon is (and a great children’s book—we call dibs), it is fake. Like super fake. Really, truly fake. Like, cardboard-cutout-of-Justin-Beiber fake.
Originally, CBS’s Stephen Quinn found the story, retweeted from David Hines (@hradzka), found here:
You’re in a parking lot. Your car is here. The road is west. A bar is south. A park is north. You have a raccoon. pic.twitter.com/JIqTaCKYxo
— David Hines (@hradzka) September 29, 2015
But, the next day, Hines posted this:
So, unfortunately for us (although fortunate for the hypothetical raccoon), there was no raccoon-wielding drunk sailor.
By the way, Stephen Quinn, after looking around for a time, found that there was no such arrest on record, and then quoted Jesara Sinclair (another journalist for CBS), who spoke with the San Diego Navy base, all of which pointed to a fake story.
Also by the way, both the story for CBS and the story for The Telegraph were edited after publishing to reflect the untrue nature of the tale. The UK story previously had included language that said that it would be updated after they received comment from the base. However, the CBS story did not contain such language, only an embedded tweet from Stephen Quinn:
The raccoon story appears to have caught fire. I have no idea if it’s true, but it sure is funny. It orginally came from @hradzka
— Stephen Quinn (@CBCStephenQuinn) September 30, 2015
For shame, CBS Detroit. If you said something wrong, people (like us) notice, and people expect you to admit it.