Evansville city councilman talks to 14 News about his arrest - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville city councilman talks to 14 News about his arrest

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John Friend. (Source: Marshall County Jail.) John Friend. (Source: Marshall County Jail.)

Evansville City Councilman and Finance Chair John Friend was arrested over the weekend while boating in Kentucky.

Councilman John Friend says on Monday night that he regrets what happened and explains the events that landed him in a Kentucky jail.

The Fifth Ward Evansville Councilman was arrested over the weekend on a charge of operating a boat while intoxicated. He was arrested Saturday and released on bond Sunday.

Friend is back in Evansville, where he attended Monday night's city council meeting. Before that meeting, he had a lot to say about the events that led up to his arrest.

"Never had this happen to me before and I regret it," Friend told 14 News. 

Councilman Friend says he was entertaining some clients over the holiday weekend on his boat at Kentucky Lake when he says a series of unfortunate events led to an overnight stay in the Marshall County Jail.

"Obviously, if I had known that was going to happen, I wouldn't have been socializing with them. Basically that's what it amounts to, just a couple more drinks then they say I should have had," Friend said.

Friend says he and his clients planned to spend the night on his boat on the lake. So he lowered the anchor before enjoying some drinks with the group.

"Then we had a severe thunderstorm moving through. The lightning was striking everywhere and these guys are concerned, so I said, 'Okay fine, we'll go ahead and go in,'" Friend said.

But Friend says the generator on his boat stopped working causing the boat's navigational lights to go out.

"That's why they pulled me over. I was going seven miles an hour. I was at cruising speed," Friend told 14 News.

A conservation officer then administered a breathalyzer test. The result, officials say, was over the legal limit in Kentucky.

When 14 News asked Friend if it was a wise decision to operate the boat and drink,  Friend responded, "Was it wise? Let's put it this way, I wasn't drinking when I was operating the boat. I had already socialized, then the weather, and the generator came out and I was kind of in this fix to get out of there."

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, it's illegal for both passengers and operators to drink alcohol in public places. The waterways in Kentucky are considered public places.  

Friend says he must go back to Marshall County in a few weeks to appear in court.

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