A routine vessel stop proved anything but for wildlife officials in waters just off Islamorada late Tuesday.
A boater threatened to kill pursuing authorities, taunted them to use a Taser while flashing his buttocks, jumped from his moving boat and swam ashore, where he was subdued with pepper spray by arresting officers, according to wildlife officials.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers first tried to stop the 19-foot Aquasport for operating without navigational lights about 10 p.m. on the ocean side of Snake Creek Channel, said FWC spokesman Officer Bobby Dube.
The boat operator, 36-year-old Andrew Thomas Bible of Islamorada, reportedly threatened to kill the FWC officer and then refused to stop as the FWC gave chase, Dube said. He allegedly yelled obscenities at the officer and at one point dropped his shorts to "moon" the officer and taunted him to use his Taser, Dube said.
The chase continued a short distance before Bible jumped into the water, with his vessel still under way, and began swimming ashore.
The Aquasport then ran aground, Dube said.
Bible reached shallow water, where he stood up and resisted the arresting officer, Dube said. The officer pepper sprayed Bible as Coast Guardsman arrived to assist. Bible was then taken to Mariners Hospital, where he was treated and then taken to the Monroe County detention facility on Plantation Key.
He was charged with felony fleeing and eluding, said Assistant State Attorney Jonathan Raiche. Whether more charges will follow will depend on the results of blood tests and future meetings with FWC officers, Raiche said.
"They drew blood at the hospital," Dube said. "He just wasn't acting right. He was drunk, but whether or not he was under the influence of anything else, we don't know."
Bible was awaiting trial on a Jan. 9 felony DUI arrest when he was arrested Tuesday, Raiche said.
"We're alleging [the Jan. 9 incident] is his fourth DUI offense," Raiche said. "If this most recent case is an alcohol-related offense and he is charged, it would be his fifth."
Bible's previous DUI cases occurred in Monroe County in March and July of 1997, and November 1998, Raiche said. All resulted in convictions, he said.
Bible was released from jail Wednesday after posting $5,000 bail, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin. His arraignment before circuit Judge Luis Garcia is tentatively scheduled for June 26.