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PSA: Sailor Did Not Use a Raccoon to Fool a Breathalyzer

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Fake Raccoon

The raccoon isn’t fake, the story is

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.

skeptical eyebrow

Not true, is what we’re saying

Originally, CBS’s Stephen Quinn found the story, retweeted from David Hines (@hradzka), found here:

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:

For shame, CBS Detroit. If you said something wrong, people (like us) notice, and people expect you to admit it.

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News Sources: CBS DetroitThe Telegraph