I am beginning to get an idea of how Surprise, Arizona got its name. Jessie Thornton, 64, was arrested for driving under the influence after he passed a sobriety test. A later breathalyzer registered 0.000. The officer arrested him because his eyes were red. After Thornton explained that he was swimming, the officer was unconvinced and arrested him anyway.
Thornton was handcuffed and forced to sit on the curb despite telling the officer that he recently had hip surgery. The pain grew worse when he was put in the police cruiser and he asked an officer if she could move her seat up, but he says that she told him to stop whining. He was taken to the station and given the breathalyzer test and blew 0.000. He was then taken to a drug recognition expert who also cleared him. He was forced to get his car out of impoundment but the charges were dropped.
He is now suing and his lawyer alleges that the mistreatment was due to his client’s race. Thornton is African-American.
He is now suing for half a million dollars.
By the way, legend has it that the town was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it Surprise as she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much.” With cases like this, it may be too early to tell.
Of course, Thornton’s reading was just .05 off the produced new blood alcohol level being pursued by the Administration. At a one drink limit, some people could pass a sobriety test and still be legally drunk.