Another insane story of police stupidity which continues to hurt the reputation of those of us who Back the Blue on a regular basis.
A 19-year-old was pulled over for having his bright lights on, because one of his front headlights was burned out. So perhaps give him a citation for that? Or perhaps let him go with a warning? But this young man who was completely respectful to the officer, and the officer was an accusing jackass to the teenager.
Footage from a body camera worn by a Newton Police Officer on Aug 28 shows 19-year-old college student Tayvin Galanakis being arrested and charged with driving under the influence, and then three hours later he was subsequently released with no charges after passing a round of field sobriety tests.
He even blew zero on his Breathalyzer, yet the officer decided to arrest him anyway, we’ve got the video below.
Galanakis says he was falsely arrested and maintains he was not drunk or on any other drugs when arresting officer Nthan Winters put him in handcuffs that night. In a very lengthy Facebook post a day later, an upset Galanakis described his encounter with Winters. The post at the time of publication had over 1,000 shares, comments, and reactions, and now it’s viral.
“Here’s how I look at it: I think if we keep the problem at the police station, they’re not going to do anything about it,” Galanakis said of his decision to release the body camera footage he obtained from the city — along with his own cell phone videos — in a public post on social media.
“Anything to drink over there?” Winters asked.
Galanakis like most youngsters was nervous, having trouble with his registrations, and gave Winters both of them along with his drivers license. He also gave Winters an electronic copy of his proof of insurance as he found one in his vehicle that expired in 2021. Then Winters asked him to exit the car.
Winters then asked him to spit out his gum, and put it on the dash of his car, which he obliged. Winters asked if he had any “bombs, guns, or drugs,” to which Galanakis laughed and said no before he was asked to sit in the passenger seat of Winters’ patrol car.
Galanakis is a freshman at William Penn University and he plays wide receiver on the football team. He didn’t make the travel squad this year, so he was back home for the weekend. Winters then asked him how much he had to drink.
“None,” Galanakis said.
“What do you mean ‘none?’” Winters asked.
“I’ve had nothing to drink.
“OK. Why would your eyes be watery and bloodshot?”
Galanakis informed Winters that he wears contacts and took them off at his friends house because they were irritated being around a dog he was allergic to. It turns out Galanakis has allergies and carries an inhaler. He also does not need the contacts in order to drive.
Galanakis told Winters he would take a breathalyzer test, insisting he had nothing to drink. Winters said Galanakis was fumbling over the registration when he was in the car, along with an odor of alcohol, says otherwise. What a clown this guy is, and a shame to his department.
Galanakis was excited to take the field sobriety test, and prove winters wrong, but Winters says he failed it by taking more steps than asked. For the record, these Field Sobriety tests are absolutely ridiculous and a joke in our society. The officers literally make them up as they go.
“What happens if nothing pops up? Do you get in trouble?” Galanakis asked.
The young man asked the officer if he could record the field sobriety test, which the officer consented to.
“So Officer Winters thinks I’m drinking tonight,” he said. “We’re about to do a test and he’s going to find out I had nothing to drink. And he’s going to look stupid. Ain’t that right? I love Newton cops but this guy thinks I’ve been drinking tonight. I’ve had nothing to drink. Zero. And we’re about to find out.”
The two exit the vehicle and move to the sidewalk to conduct the tests, along with Newton Police Lt. Chris Wing, who accompanied Winters throughout the entire traffic stop. Shameful that a superior officer witnessed this insanity and did nothing, isn’t it?
Winters inspected Galanakis’ eyes by making him follow his finger, after about 60 seconds of following his finger, Galankis laughs.
“How many more we got?” Galanakis asked.
“Oh this test is about two minutes long,” Winters said.
Galanakis mentioned the rain ruining his hair, and then spoke to Winters about the officer’s experience playing football in Knoxville. Winters didn’t play college ball, though, because of too many concussions, he said.
After the finger test, the teen was asked to walk in a straight line.
Left foot on the line to start, then the right foot in front of the left foot — with the heel of the right foot touching the toes of the left foot. Galanakis was to take nine steps with his arms to his side, turn around, then do nine steps again. Winters instructed Galanakis to count his steps out loud.
Even though he was asked if he had any questions, Galanakis was under the impression Winters would be counting for him and proceeded the test without counting. He told the officer to let him know when he got to nine steps and then asked how Winters wanted him to turn around.
Winters quietly tells himself what Galanakis had done wrong in the test: he stopped walking after 13 steps and improperly turned around. On his way back, Galanakis took 15 steps, again, not realizing he was supposed to count his steps. Already, he was celebrating.
“C’mon man. This is too easy!” Galanakis said. “Let’s do the breath now. You’re two-for-two.”
Winters disagreed and explained the infractions.
“Oh my fault.”
Winters wants to do another test before a breathalyzer. Galanakis is told to stand with his heels and toes together and his arms down to his side. By this point, Galanakis is annoyed and exclaims Winters is a rookie and is in disbelief when he finds out this is not the first year the officer has been on duty.
“How many false accusations you got?” Galanakis asked.
“Zero,” Winters said.
“This is about to be your first.”
The following is from our friends at Newton Daily News:
For the next test, Galanakis has to raise his left or right foot six inches off the ground and keep it parallel. While keeping that stance, Galanakis is to look at his toe and count off “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four.”
Before he starts the test Winters asked Galanakis why he is shaking so much. Galanakis, in a sweater and shorts that are above his knees, says he is freezing cold in the rain and points out he is nervous for being falsely accused of drunk driving. Galanakis proceeds to do the test and lifts his leg.
He forgets to count. Winters reminds him.
“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi. I honestly forgot how you told me. I’m doing this pretty well,” Galanakis said with his foot still hovering above the ground. “Just tell me when to switch because it’s getting pretty cold now. This is ridiculous.”
Winters relents and lets Galanakis relax before another eye test. Winters said he is going to move his finger around in a circular motion around Galanakis’ face but he will not touch him. Galanakis just has to follow with his eyes and not move his head when following his finger.
Galanakis is frustrated and wants to take a breathalyzer test and then asks who his supervisor is. Wing, on scene, indicates he is Winters’ supervisor.
But Winters isn’t finished. There is another test. Galanakis stands with heels and toes together and arms down to his side. When Winters tells him to begin, Galanakis has to estimate the passing of 30 seconds, close his eyes and then tilt his head back. Winters inspects Galanakis as he has his eyes closed.
Thirty seconds pass and Galanakis opens his eyes. Another test. Before they start he asks if he can obtain the body camera footage. Wing says he can if he subpoenas it. Galanakis said he would have recorded the tests if his battery was not so low. Winters proceeds with the test.
He tells Galanakis to make a fist with his hands, rotate his palms and then extend his index fingers. Winters gave him a series of commands, left or right. Depending on what he says, Galanakis has to raise that hand and touch his nose with the tip of his finger and then put his hand back down.
All the while he has head tilted up and his eyes closed. Galanakis does all the commands. Still standing in the rain, Galanakis gets impatient and wants to conduct the breath test.
“Stop doing all these damn tests. Let’s blow. Let’s get to business,” he said. “…I used to love Newton cops. Used to love ‘em. Never give me no problems. Until now. My beams were on because I have a tail light out. Not my tail light. One of the bulbs out front is out. That’s why I put ‘em up. I didn’t know it was illegal.”
Tonight?” Winters asked.
“No. No weed tonight, man. I’ve had no weed tonight. Why do you think it’s tonight? I blew zeros so now you’re trying to think I smoke weed? That’s what’s going on. You can’t do that. You really can’t do that. Is he allowed to do that?” Galanakis said, turning to Wing. “So I blow zeros and he suspects drugs now?”
Winters said the sobriety tests were indicative that Galanakis was impaired and then questioned him again if he smoked marijuana at his friend’s house.
“Why is your field sobriety so poor and why are you so lethargic and slow moving and speaking with a slurred speech?” Winters said. “And your eyes are watery and bloodshot.”
Galanakis argued his eyes are watery because of the rain. Winters argued his eyes were watery and bloodshot in their cars. Galanakis said he does not smoke weed, saying since he is on the football team they get tested regularly. Despite his protests, Winters maintains his belief that Galanakis is impaired.
Winters asked if Galanakis wanted to talk to another officer, to which he agrees. He also agreed to let an officer conduct a drug influence evaluation. Wing told Galanakis he doesn’t have to stand in the rain to do those tests. Galanakis then asked to call his parents. They say he can.
His mom answers the phone. Galanakis tells her what has happened. This is harassment, he says. The call ends. Winters said they all have to go to the police station to do the tests. Galanakis decided now he doesn’t want to. He wants to go home. Winters pulls out his handcuffs and places Galanakis under arrest.
“What in the world?” Galanakis said. “Sir? What in the world? I’m not intoxicated!”
You can read more of the full encounter at our friends at the Newton Daily News.
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