A lizard gave officers quite a surprise on what they thought was a routine call. A man had fallen asleep behind the wheel of a running vehicle outside of a convenience store.
Brandon Denney was woken up by officers with a pill bottle in his hands but agreed to take a field sobriety test. While one of the officers performed the test, the other noticed a Gila monster poking its head out from a box in the back of the man’s vehicle.
The 37-year-old claimed that he picked up the reptile after accidentally running it over. After a quick inspection, officers found no signs of injury on the animal.
According to police, the officers completed a search of the vehicle, which turned up cocaine, methamphetamine, a fentanyl pill, and several items of drug paraphernalia.
Not only was the man taken into custody for driving under the influence charges but he could also face additional charges since it is illegal to sell or own a Gila monster in Arizona without a permit. The Arizona Game and Fish Department have seized the animal and plan on launching its own investigation.
Gila monsters are the largest lizards native to the United States. They are rather dangerous and use their venomous saliva for defense. Their bites can be extremely painful but not fatal to humans.