A drunken Florida man (apologies for the redundancy) was involved in a high-speed chase with Monroe County sheriff’s deputies before crashing his truck and ultimately ending up in the ocean. Nicholas Tralka, 31, was seen leaving a bar in a pickup truck at 4 a.m. and driving at a high rate of speed, which can only mean some combination three things in Florida: 1) He was drunk, 2) He stabbed/shot somebody, possibly in the service of another crime like robbery, or 3) A python had crawled into his truck and had begun to strangle him, which caused his foot to slam onto the gas.
Turns out Tralka was just drunk. A deputy pulled behind the speeding truck and was preparing for a traffic stop, but Tralka’s truck slammed into a median and then sped off. Eventually deputies deployed tire spikes, but Tralka drove right through those, crashing into a light post and a palm tree before rolling into the signage at the entrance to Duck Key.
Chase over, right? Nah. Tralka jumped out of his truck and took off on foot. He jumped over a seawall and into the ocean. The deputies called out for him to stop since they had his truck and would eventually find him with extreme ease assuming Tralka wasn’t about to swim to Venezuela to avoid extradition for a DUI, but the fleeing suspect decided to continue fleeing.
Tralka swam to and hid under the Tom’s Harbor Channel Bridge for 30 minutes before a fisherman ratted him out. Deputies finally pulled him into a boat they borrowed from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and arrested Tralka for driving while under the influence, causing property damage and resisting arrest, among a litany of other charges.
Deputies also found four airplane bottles of Fireball whiskey in Tralka’s truck. Three of them had been drunk. When asked why he fled Tralka claimed that he had gotten scared because he had been drinking. He admitted that he had, “F***ed up” but tried to look on the bright side of the situation, which was that this would all make a great story some day. Though it wouldn’t be that day, because then the police put him in jail.
Eh, it’s a decent story. Probably not worth the tens of thousands of dollars it cost ya though, Nick.