Toward the end of Sunday evening, a man took off in a plane from Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada. That doesn’t sound particularly odd, but it is because, according to police, Paul Michael Weddle had stolen the plane and on top of it, he was drunk. As KVVU FOX 5 Vegas reports, this is a crime that police in the area have never seen before.
The incident was brought to police attention Sunday evening around 11:30pm. A Scenic Airlines employee reported that one of their planes, a Cessna Caravan, had taken off and landed three times. When police arrived, they witnessed Weddle (whose surname has also been spelled ‘Waddle’ in some reports) take off and land an additional two more times.
Police say that Weddle was reckless with the plane on the ground, that he sped on the tarmac and took 360 degree turns, nearly hitting other planes all the while. KVVU says that when police stopped him, he initially ignored their commands before finally getting out of the plane. When he started to reach into his waistband, an officer tackled him, which explains the large bruise on Weddle’s face. The item in his waistband turned out to be a radio.
Mr. Weddle had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He was given a breath test, registering a .132. KVVU says he was, “charged with DUI/aircraft, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle/aircraft and obstructing a police officer.”
What was his reason for flying the plane? Apparently he said he was trying to complete the takeoff and landing portion of his pilot’s license. I’m fairly certain that you’re supposed to be sober for that. Either way, police don’t know if he’s actually in flight school or not, noting they don’t have one in Boulder City.
More info: KVVU