National News

VIDEO: Clearwater man drives recklessly on beach, streams it all on Facebook Live

Posted July 21

— Clearwater Police arrested a man on Thursday after he drove on the beach from Clearwater to Caladesi Island and streamed it on Facebook Live.

Police say that the first call came in at 4:26 p.m. about a possible drunk driver at U.S. 19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard; the initial caller was watching Stiles on a Facebook Live broadcast. Police say that one call came in to the communications center from as far away as California.

Stiles drove west to Clearwater Beach and entered the beach area at the dead end of Papaya Street at 4:41 p.m.

He was reported to have plowed over chairs and umbrellas.

A Facebook Live video obtained by ABC Action News from 27-year-old Ryan Stiles' profile shows him driving a Jeep and drinking what appears to be liquor. The video shows he also came close to hitting several beach goers.

While on Memorial Causeway, Stiles struck a vehicle east of Island Way, causing minor damage but no injuries, according to police.

Police say it could have been a lot worse, given how crowded the beaches can be, but that it was fortunate Stiles stayed close to the dunes rather than the water.

"We were very, extremely fortunate that we didn't lose any officers, nor did we lose any civilians," said Deputy Chief Donald Hall.

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