Drunk Canadian man swims to Detroit

Richard Thompson Contributor
Font Size:

Detroit may have filed for bankruptcy, but that’s still not keeping people out of the once-thriving Michigan city.

After swimming from Canada to Detroit on Monday, a Windsor man is being charged with public intoxication and could face up to $25,000 in additional fines for swimming in a shipping channel.

John Morillo, 47, hopped into the Detroit River after throwing back eight beers and swam from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, Mich. Authorities apprehended the channel-crossing Canuck when he returned to Windsor.

Windsor officials were notified of the swim by Morillo’s neighbor, who called the police after she lost sight of him during his drunken dip. The police then contacted U.S. and Canadian coast guards, who deployed three boats and a helicopter.

“As soon I saw the helicopters going by and the boats looking for me, I was like, ‘Oh, this is really stupid,'” Morillo said.

According to Morillo, alcohol wasn’t really a motivating factor behind the late night swim.

“I was drinking, but I wasn’t really drunk,” Morillo said in a Tuesday interview with the Windsor Star. “The thing is, I’ve been telling people I’m going to swim across the river for years and they’re like, ‘Yah, yah, blah, blah, you can’t make it.’ So, I don’t know, last night I just decided it was the time to go.”

Not surprisingly, Morillo’s antics made a lot of people angry with him.

“The harbour master was extremely mad at me,” said Morillo. “I don’t know, maybe they pulled him out of bed or something.”

Morillo couldn’t even get any sympathy from his own mother.

“She just hung up on me,” he said. “She said, ‘You’re just so stupid.'”

Follow Richard on Twitter