Video: Charged for passing gas

msnbc.com news services
updated 9/26/2008 9:55:48 AM ET 2008-09-26T13:55:48

A West Virginia man accused of passing gas and fanning it toward a police officer no longer faces a battery charge.

The Kanawha County prosecutor's office requested that the charge be dropped against 34-year-old Jose Cruz.

Cruz, of Clarksburg, W. Va., was pulled over early Tuesday for driving without headlights, police said. According to the criminal complaint, Cruz smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and failed three field sobriety tests before he was handcuffed and taken to a police station.

According to a criminal complaint, Cruz passed gas and made a fanning motion toward patrolman T.E. Parsons after being taken for a breathalyzer test.

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"The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons," the complaint alleged.

Cruz acknowledged passing gas, but said he didn't move his chair toward the officer nor aim gas at the patrolman. He said he had an upset stomach at the time, but police denied his request to go to the bathroom when he first arrived at the station.

"I couldn't hold it no more," he said.

He also denied being drunk and uncooperative as the police complaint alleged. He added he was upset at being prepared for a breathalyzer test while having an asthma attack. The police statement said he later resisted being secured for a trip to a hospital that he requested for asthma treatment.

Cruz said the officers thought the gas incident was funny when it happened and laughed about it with him.

Cruz, who was arrested Tuesday, still faces two charges: driving under the influence and driving without headlights, and two counts of obstruction.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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