Detroit River Swim From Windsor To Detroit, Prize For Drunken Stunt Is Jail

A Detroit River swim Monday night landed a Canadian man in jail overnight and could cost him up to $25,000. Oops. 47-year-old John Morillo has already acknowledged that he carb (or alcohol) loaded on around eight beers before he jumped off near Hiram Walker in Windsor, Canada and swam across the shipping channel to the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan.

Despite the informality of Morillo’s international border crossing, the drunken Canadian swimmer seemed to be mostly in trouble with Canadian authorities.

An extended report in The Windsor Star said that Morillo swam to Detroit, got out and posed with a few people at the Renaissance Center, and then headed back. He had been telling people he wanted to swim the Detroit River for 20 years and, at age 47 and after eight beers, he apparently figured it was now or never.

Unfortunately, he chose his partner in crime unwisely. An unnamed woman witness lost sight of him, panicked, and called the police.

Uh oh.

As Morillo was swimming back to Canada, he spotted the international rescue team that included three boats and a helicopter. They nabbed the border-breaking evildoer just as he was about to return to dry land near the Windsor Hilton Hotel.

It all ended in an overnight jail stay for public intoxication. To add insult to injury, the Windsor Port Authority is looking into it and could fine him up to $25,000 for swimming in the shipping channel.

Sheesh, Canada. In America you don’t even get that for shooting unarmed 17-year-olds or transporting a million dollars cash in the back of a Mercedes SUV.

He has already apologized, calling himself “really stupid…I’m very sorry that I put those rescue people and the city workers and the coast guard out of their way for something so stupid.”

A Detroit News account of the Detroit River swim adventure attracted these comments:

“At least one person wanted to go to Detroit even if he was drunk.”

“Detroit needs more of the cool people visiting who can make a difference and less of the Negative Nancys…”

“This guy rocks! Back in the day I used to water ski across the shipping channels down by Trenton and there were no fines. What a joke to fine him….just a money grab. John…I say you made it man!”

Clearly, what he did was dangerous and he shouldn’t have done it, blah blah blah. But I’d totally pardon the old boy, wouldn’t you?

The Drunken Detroit River Swim Reaction From Twitter

Don’t try this at home and all. I can’t condone John Morillo’s Detroit River swim but who hasn’t considered doing the same thing when faced with driving over the Ambassador Bridge?

[Detroit River photo by Aaron Headly via Flickr, Creative Commons]