A South Carolina mayor was stopped by police one recent night for driving a riding lawnmower down the street with an open beer, reports The Sun News.
In recently released police dashcam video, Aynor mayor John Gardner appears to ignore a pursuing Horry County police cruiser, even as the officer attempts to pull him over, and leads police on a short low-speed chase. Gardner then steps off of his lawnmower to talk to his pursuers.
During the stop, Gardner admits to having an open container and apologizes for it.
“You have an open container,” says a Horry County officer on the Aug. 25 traffic stop. “I know, and I apologize for that,” says Gardner. The same officer points out that there are at least two drinks in the riding mower, as he has to differentiate between them in instructing Gardner to pour one out.
Gardner was not charged and was permitted to drive away. He said he was pulled over because the lawnmower had no lights; most lawnmowers do not.
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“It was just a misunderstanding,” Gardner commented. “[The beer] was unopened to the best of my knowledge. I remember opening it to pour it out.”
In addition to mayor, Gardner is the chief financial officer of Horry County Schools. He is up for reelection this year, according to The Sun News.