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Mayor on lawnmower

A South Carolina mayor was pulled over on a lawnmower with an open container


The Mayor of Aynor, John Gardner, was pulled over by Horry County police while riding a lawnmower with an open container, according to dash cam video from Horry County Police Department.

There was no police report generated about the incident because it was a contact/traffic stop, according to Krystal Dotson with Horry County Police Department, our affiliate WPDE reported.

Video shows an HCPD car pull up behind a riding lawnmower driven by a man identified by police as Gardner.

Twelve seconds later, blue lights can be seen.

When he continues driving, officers can be heard laughing in the background.

A female officer laughs, saying "he's not stopping."

As the officers follow the lawnmower, Gardner can be seen fluctuating between the center line and the edge of the road.

After the police car pulls up beside the lawnmower and an officer shouts to Gardner, both vehicles come to a stop near the Echo 6 store in Aynor.

As Gardner gets off of the lawnmower, the officers meet him in front of their police car.

At one point, Gardner moves a drink on the lawnmower and the female police officer shines a flashlight on it.

The female officer can be heard questioning the "can of Miller Lite that you're drinking going down the road."

Gardner repeatedly says, "I apologize" as the officers question where he was going.

The male officer can be heard saying, "You were driving like this," and making a swerving hand motion. He then points out, "You also have an open container."

Afterwards the male officer adds, "You messed up." Gardner replies, "I know, and I apologize for that."

A few moment later, Gardner can be seen removing the drink from the lawnmower, moving off-camera, and then returning with the can.

The male officer continues to speak with Gardner, saying, "I would hate to see you in the news [...] that would not be good."

After that, the officers move off-camera to the side of the patrol vehicle, and Gardner remains leaning against the lawnmower in front of the police car.

He can be seen putting his hand to his face just before he moves, stumbling toward the officers and moving off-camera.

The female officer asks, "Whoa, you alright?"

Gardner and the officers remain off-camera for the remainder of the dash cam video.

As blue lights continue to flash, the female officer can be heard six minutes later, saying, "We have one of your officers on the way up here right now."

Nearly two minutes after that, Gardner asks, "Can we go to town hall?" The female officer replies, "Right now? Why would I want to go to town hall?"

No further response can be heard.

A minute later, a third party gets on the lawnmower and drives off. Another police vehicle then comes on-camera, and can be seen driving off as well.

Police said Gardner wasn't charged or cited for the incident.

We reached out to Gardner, but he said he would offer no comment.

David Thompson with Aynor Police Department released a statement on Wednesday, saying, "The situation involving Mayor Gardner was neither initiated or investigated by the Aynor Police Department therefore it would not be appropriate for me to make a comment on another agencies case."

Tony Godsey, the town manager for Aynor, said they have no comment other than "he wasn't charged so the town is not going to do anything further."

You can watch the dash cam video in its entirety below:

Dash cam video: Aynor, S.C., mayor pulled over on lawn mower with open container

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