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Swayze Suspected of Drunk FlyingAired June 14, 2000 - 10:36 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: From Arizona, three men are facing misdemeanor charges in connection with Patrick Swayze's emergency landing earlier this month. The men are accused of failing to tell authorities about how they allegedly helped the actor remove alcoholic beverages from his crashed plane.
Scott McGee from our affiliate KTVK now with more.
SCOTT MCGEE, KTVK REPORTER (voice-over): When Patrick Swayze's twin-engine Cessna crash-landed at this rural construction site, Prescott Valley police thought the account Swayze and three witnesses gave them was amazing but believable.
SGT. P.J. JANIK, PRESCOTT VALLEY POLICE: He really didn't give us any, really, reason to doubt what had occurred.
MCGEE: Swayze said a pressurization problem forced him to make the emergency landing that sheared off a wing when he hit these light poles.
PATRICK SWAYZE, ACTOR: I was so focused on -- I'm so focused on putting it on the ground safely that I didn't -- I don't even remember hitting anything.
MCGEE: But police now think there may be another reason why he doesn't remember anything: initially Swayze and the three witnesses, Brian Nelson (ph), Adam Martin (ph) and Joshua Angel (ph) told investigators there was no alcohol onboard. The three have now been charged with lying to investigators.
JANIK: So maybe all their intentions were good, but when a police officer obviously asks you questions and there's a version given that's different than what really occurred, that becomes a falsified report.
MCGEE: According to that report, when questioned by police a few days later, all three witnesses agreed that Swayze appeared extremely intoxicated and allegedly told one person he thought he landed near his ranch in New Mexico.
The three construction workers said Swayze asked them to: "make up a story for him," and even asked the trio to get rid of a half empty 30-pack of Miller Lite, and an almost empty wine bottle. Then a fourth man took Swayze into town.
(on camera): According to the police report, after "driving around a while," one of the construction workers, Gary Bruso, brought Swayze here to the Prescottonian (ph) Motel; where Swayze stayed in this room, number 137, under the name John Silva (ph). Then, almost six hours later, met with police.
(voice-over): By then, police say it was too late for a sobriety test, and turned the entire case over to the FAA.
JANIK: Well, there's really no substantive physical evidence, that you can. I mean, it's not like we have a blood sample or a breath sample or anything else. So, you know, you really can't charge somebody with some crime that you don't have any evidence to back it up with, as far as any degree of impairment.
HEMMER: Again, that story, KTVK out of Arizona.
The publicist for Patrick Swayze denies there was any alcohol onboard that plane.
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