Police in Van Buren, Arkansas are still scratching their heads over one of the most unusual arrests they said they have made in years.
On Thursday night, police received a call from an 18-year-old reporting underage drinking in his home – by him.
“Basically he, I guess, was intoxicated and called our office and said he was underage and drinking and he wanted to go to jail,” Van Buren Police Department Sergeant Jonathan Wear told ABC News in a telephone interview.
“At first the [responding] officers were a little confused,” he said. "They went to make contact and when they went to the house this guy -- he actually came out of the apartment with his hands up. At that time, the officers didn’t know it was him who called – they thought it was a neighbor. The officers asked what was going on and he admitted to calling.”
“The officers wanted to give him a chance so they said, you know, ‘Look, just stay in your apartment and don’t drink, and you can go back into your house,’ but I guess he wasn’t good with that,” Wear explained. “They actually gave him a chance to go back inside and sober up. But he refused. He said, ‘I really need to go to jail.’”
Wear said the young man told officers he had been drinking after having a bad day.
He said that Van Buren police officers still can’t figure out what prompted the young man to self-confess and turn himself in.
“There’s a little bit of a buzz around here,” Wear said. “The officers at the police department are talking about it because it’s just so unusual.”
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“He was not very high,” Wear said.
“It wasn’t like he was just wasted or anything. He was not bad at all. The officers told him that ‘in your house [underage drinking is] not an issue. But with him refusing to go back in, the officers couldn’t leave him wandering around outside, so they arrested him and took him in.”
The young man was charged with public intoxication, but the mystery behind his self-confession remains.
On the ride to the station, “there wasn’t any real conversation,” Wear said.
By Arkansas state law, individuals arrested for public intoxication must remain locked up for at least six hours.
Wear said the young man was locked up for six hours and then released on a “small” bond.
“It was a very strange arrest.”
Wear declined to provide the teenager’s name.
“We are not releasing his name,” the sergeant said. “We don’t want to cause him too much trouble.”