According to WMBF, the mayor of Aynor, SC was stopped by Horry County Police last month while riding a lawnmower down the road, apparently with an open can of beer. An Horry County Police official confirmed the mayor was not cited or charged, and said that their officers’ response “will be a training opportunity” for their agency.
Horry County Police released dash camera video of officers stopping John Gardner as he drove the riding lawnmower down a two-lane road on Friday, August 25 at about 8:40 p.m.
At first, officers can be heard laughing at the sight of the lawnmower, but when Gardner didn’t stop the lawnmower for the police’s flashing blue lights, they continued the “slow-speed chase,” and pulled alongside him to get his attention.
Gardner explained that he went to fill the lawnmower with gas, and stopped when he saw the blue lights.
The male officer said that he is going to have Aynor come out to the scene, presumably meaning an Aynor Police officer.
Later during the stop, the male officer said: “I mean, because if it was me driving that car, even though I’m a police officer…you know what I’m saying – I’d be on the news…I’d hate to see you on the news.”
Gardner responded: “I’d hate to see myself on the news.”
When asked why no citation, ticket or charge was presented to Gardner after he was found with an open alcohol container while driving a moving vehicle at night with no lights, Dotson replied: “Our policy states the officer will use their discretion to cite or ticket an individual.”
The HCPD investigation into the incident revealed that a public contact form or citation was not issued.
“This will be a training opportunity for our agency,” Dotson said. Teal Britton with Horry County Schools also said that no action will be taken against Gardner because there is no report or charges.