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“Belligerent” trucker fought with liquor store employees, assaulted officers, police say


A “belligerent and confrontational” truck driver is facing multiple charges after a drama-filled evening in South Dakota late last week.

The series of incidents occurred on Saturday, September 11th in Mitchell, South Dakota. 

According to The Daily Republic, 44-year-old Texas trucker, Gairon Lay, refused to show an ID while purchasing alcohol, and instead threw some cash on the counter and tried to leave. Store employees then tried to stop Lay from leaving the store, but he became “belligerent and confrontational,” and employees had to push him away from themselves in order to maintain personal space. Employees then contacted police. 

When officers arrived, they found Lay inside of his running semi truck and asked him to exit the vehicle, to which Lay responded with a middle finger and foul language. Officers describe Lay as having slurred speech and glassy eyes. 

Because officers suspected that Lay was intoxicated and “in physical control of a running commercial vehicle,” they attempted to remove him from the rig, but Lay simply told officers ‘no’ and rolled up his window. 

A short time later, Lay rolled his window back down and told police that he “guessed he was under arrest,” but still refused to leave the rig. Officers then grabbed Lay by the arms and removed him from the truck, handcuffing him. Officers also report that there was “fresh vomit” on the steps leading up to the cab as well as on the ground. 

Once in custody at the Davison County Jail, Lay refused sobriety tests and ended up yelling and lunging at officers before eventually grabbing one. Officers then obtained a search warrant and were able to draw Lay’s blood – his BAC was found to be .245%, more than three times the legal driving limit. 

Lay now faces a Class 2 felony – punishable by up to 25 years in prison, a $50,000 fine or both – and two Class 2 misdemeanors, as well as two Class One misdemeanors. His charges include assault on a law enforcement officer and DUI. He attended his first court appearance on Monday, September 13th.


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