Oli Kellett—Getty Images
By Megan McCluskey
October 12, 2015

A man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase in Manatee County, Fla., allegedly told officers that his dog was the one driving the car, according to KTLA 5.

Reliford Cooper III, 26, was arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated with damage to a person or property. Police spotted Cooper speeding and driving erratically around 7:45 p.m. He allegedly fled, ran a stop sign and drove through two ditches before crashing into a house. The DUI suspect then ran to a church where he hid in the bathroom. Churchgoers forced the man outside where he was taken into custody, authorities report.

“My dog was driving that car. I ran because I wanted to. You ain’t gonna find no drugs or guns on me,” Cooper allegedly told a deputy before starting to throw up.

Dave Bristow, a spokesman with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, told The Huffington Post that there was no dog seen in Cooper’s car.

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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