DAVIE, Fla. (CBS12) — Davie Police arrested a Palm Beach County firefighter early Sunday morning for hitting five vehicles while under the influence and then fleeing the scene.
Police responded to SW 163rd Avenue late Saturday to hold a perimeter for K-9's to search for a man, later identified as John Gratton, who fled an accident, according to police. Gratton was found in the middle of the field on the southwest corner of Griffin Road and Weston Road, bleeding under a bush. A K-9 had to apprehend Gratton because he initially refused to get out from under the bush.
Gratton had crashed his black Dodge Ram 2500 into five vehicles, then ran into the field, police said. As he was being placed in handcuffs, police officers could smell alcohol from his mouth, which "grew stronger as he slothfully spoke." His eyes were bloodshot, glassy and watery.
Gratton stumbled to the patrol car and started babbling about being a firefighter, according to police. Two victims sustained injuries from the crash and were taken to Cleveland Clinic by Davie Fire Rescue.
Their conditions are not stated in the report.
According to a traffic investigator, Gratton had been driving several miles with a flat tire and was riding on the rim, adding “he operated the vehicle with willful and wanted disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
A grinder that tested positive for cannabis was also found in Gratton's truck, police said.
He is now facing several charges, including DUI causing property damage, resisting an officer without violence, fleeing the scene of a crash, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CBS12 News stopped by Gratton's home in Coral Springs late Tuesday night. He declined to talk or make any comment.
Capt. Albert Borroto, the Public Information Officer for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, released this statement:
We are aware of the arrest.
John Michael Gratton is a Driver Operator with the department and was hired in 2002. He is currently on administrative leave without pay.
Read the full arrest report here.
The victims did not respond to CBS12 News' requests for comment, as of Tuesday night.
Gratton refused to take a blood test to determine his blood alcohol level.