Police: Man drinks 18 wine coolers, hot-wires 18-wheeler, goes on joyride


Johnny Bringle of Marshall County is charged with felony taking of a motor vehicle and felony malicious mischief.

WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, discovered that Bringle told police he does not remember most of it.

Police said Bringle told them before all of this started that he drank 18 wine coolers and then decided he needed something to drive.

"He advised that when he sobered up that next morning, he couldn't believe he had done this," said Detective Kerry Reid.

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Reid is lead investigator in the case. He said Bringle did damage to nine different cars at Wicks Auto sales, tearing them up while trying to hot-wire them.

"The subject basically told us he got intoxicated ... that alcohol causes him to do things that he generally wouldn't do," Reid said.

Police said that after failing to hot-wire any of the cars about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Bringle walked a half-mile to Custom Link chain link company.

"He was able to get an 18-wheeler that had cargo on the back of it hot-wired," Reid said.

Custom Link owner Brent Edwards told WHBQ what happened next. "He ran through our gate. That was completely destroyed," Edwards said.

The gate was knocked down sometime around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

Edwards was notified and put notice out on Facebook that the truck was missing.

Hours later, Bringle was spotted driving the truck near Olive Branch by a retired Memphis police officer. He called police.

"It's unbelievable, but the community came together to catch a thief. It was on Facebook two to three hours before he called me," Edwards said.

Reid believes Bringle may have been behind the wheel of the 18-wheeler for nine hours, driving intoxicated around North Mississippi.

"He and I had that conversation, and I advised him that he was very fortunate – fortunate that he didn't hurt someone," Reid said.

Police told WHBQ that Bringle has a long rap sheet and that he told them he was trying to figure out a way to return the truck after he sobered up.


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