September 30, 2015
Raccoon Breathalyzer Hoax: Drunk Man Didn't Use Raccoon To Blow Into Ignition, Start Car Andm, Get Attacked

If viral news is to be believed, an official looking incident report went viral and fooled even some mainstream media. With a title like "One of the best incident reports I've ever read" on Imgur, the "CNRSW" report dated September 26, claimed to document an abuse of a public animal and drunken or reckless driving coming out of Camp Pendleton. The very detailed report with acronyms such as SITREP and a CCIR #3a55 purported to be from San Diego, California.

"Male Navy enlisted first class petty officer exited a bar intoxicated in an attempt to drive a POV equipped with a breathalyzer interlock system."
In the report, the description of a Navy man getting so drunk that he couldn't drive his breathalyzer-equipped vehicle takes a turn for the crazy when it claims the first class petty officer – nameless – went into the woods to get a raccoon to use his breath instead. With "240932GMT Sep. 15" listed as the Greenwich Mean Time on the report, and containing a strange eye symbol within a pyramid in the background, the report spoke of the man squeezing the raccoon so many times that after the car started, the raccoon passed out.
"Suspect was too intoxicated to successfully start the vehicle, so he went into the park where he captured a raccoon rummaging in a trash receptacle."
On CBS Detroit, the story about the man using a raccoon to start the breathalyzer containing car went viral. The article titled "Man Uses Raccoon To Start Breathalyzer Equipped Car; Raccoon Then Attacks Driver" has been shared more than 16,000 times on Facebook since it was published on September 30. Even the writer admitted that the whole raccoon's breath starting a car sounded like a hoax.
"Individual utilized the raccoon to blow into the interlock system successfully, but the raccoon became unconscious from being squeezed and was discarded on the floorboard of the vehicle until a short time later when the raccoon regained consciousness and began to attack the suspect while driving, causing the vehicle to crash into a residential fence."
According to the San Diego Tribune, the story about the solider and a raccoon's breath starting car is a hoax.

raccoon

That hasn't stopped some major websites from believing the initial report, nor has it stopped some folks on Twitter from believing the raccoon story. A search for raccoon on Twitter turns up both tweets from people who are just discovering the story was a hoax, as well as tweets and retweets from people reacting to the initial story that they believe is true.

Along with the Imgur report was a meme with Will Ferrell.

raccoon2

Real or not, says a person who reposted the raccoon story to Imgur, it's a funny story. With headlines like that, it seems that plenty of people who read it do so with a view askance at certain elements of the story. For example, upon starting the car, why would the man throw the raccoon on his floorboard and not out of the window? How could a guy so drunk catch a raccoon anyway? How would a raccoon's breath work on a breathalyzer?

"The vehicle came to a complete stop in an in-ground swimming pool. The suspect sustained numerous scratches and bite marks to the hands, face, stomach and arms."
Also, it seems so dramatic for a raccoon to wake up from being passed out and then attack the driver and make him end up at the bottom of a swimming pool. It seems whomever crafted this tall tale about a raccoon might have a great future in fictional writing – one that could rival some of the best writers out there.

[Sam Greenwood/Getty Images Sport]