Man in underwear boards moving wine truck, drinks, releases 5,000 bottles worth of wine onto highway

·2 min read
Gabriel Moreno: Stanislaus County Sheriff
Gabriel Moreno: Stanislaus County Sheriff

A Californian man in only his underwear climbed beneath a moving tanker truck filled with red wine before opening a valve, drinking from the tanker, and spilling thousands of bottles worth of wine onto the road.

According to police reports, a Cherokee Freight Lines tanker truck travelling Highway 99 near Moreno, California, was flagged down by a man in a sedan. The man - Gabriel Moreno - signalled for the truck to pull over.

The truck driver - fearing his truck had suffered some mechanical issue - obliged the driver and stopped the truck, pulling off onto the shoulder of the highway.

Mr Moreno then emerged from the car, dressed only in his boxers and a face mask, popped open his trunk, and ran towards the truck's passenger side door. It is unclear whether the man attempted to enter the cab of the truck.

At that point, the truck driver - startled by the bizarre encounter - began backing his truck away in an attempt to leave the scene. As the truck pulled away from Mr Moreno, he ran up along the side of the vehicle and leapt onto the vehicle, out of sight of the driver.

As the truck travelled down the highway, Mr Moreno began to climb underneath the vehicle, where he had access to a valve connected to the truck's liquid cargo tank. He unscrewed the valve and began drinking from it as red wine poured out and onto the highway.

Modesto CHP patrolman Tom Olsen said Mr Moreno "got exactly what [he] was looking for immediately" and explained how he was able to access the valve from where he was hanging.

"This individual was able to release the wine from under the tanker, and he placed himself underneath the tanker in such a manner, the best way to describe this was somebody doing like, snow angels," Mr Olsen said.

Eventually, the truck driver pulled over and called the California State Highway Patrol when his instruments indicated to him that he was losing liquid from his tank.

The trucking company estimated it lost approximately 1,000 gallons of wine - enough to fill about 5,000 bottles - as a result of the high speed, low clothes heist.

"I've listened to thousands and thousands of calls," Mr Olsen said. "This one's up there in the top 10.

Mr Gabriel was apprehended by the CHP sometime later.

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