A man’s wedding day is supposed to be one of the most memorable moments of his life. For 25-year-old Nicholas Ruthenberg, this was certainly the case. He made his wedding day truly unforgettable by going viral for getting into a police chase and shouting “All hail Donald Trump” as officers from Vero Beach, Florida struggled to arrest him.
The day began innocently enough. It was the last Monday in August — not a typical day for a wedding, but the clerk of Indian River County, Florida was happy to stand in the place of a minister and officiate. As the officiant, the county clerk spoke aloud those few necessary words that bonded the young couple together in the eyes of the law. But just a few hours after the newlyweds’ presumably happy nuptials, the energy of their special day changed dramatically.
We don’t know for sure what happened to change the course of the day, but we do know that by later that afternoon, the groom was spotted on the road driving the wrong direction. In particular, Ruthenberg was behind the wheel of his car, alone, driving westbound in the eastbound lane of a surface street, aimed right at oncoming traffic. That’s when the absolutely expected happened: Ruthenberg slammed his car into an oncoming vehicle.
A short moment later, Ruthenberg pulled himself from the wreckage and stumbled about before fleeing the scene. An eyewitness rushed to contact the police, who soon arrived with EMTs on the scene. The driver from the vehicle that Ruthenberg had smashed into was rushed to the hospital, but appeared to have no life-threatening injuries.
Meanwhile, it didn’t take long for police to locate Ruthenberg in a nearby building. The cops checked his ID and the tags of the car. When he was identified as the registered owner of the vehicle, Ruthenberg was arrested. This was around the same time officers started to notice something was seriously off with the groom.
Per the arrest record, Ruthenberg was “acting very erratic and appeared as if he were under the influence of an unknown substance.” In time, he began yelling, “‘All hail Donald Trump!’” The strange thing is, Ruthenberg is a registered Democrat. He also shouted “1771” at officers and barked at them that “I got my X1 and X2!” The arresting officer reported that when asked “about what he was talking about, he didn’t elaborate.” (The former may have been a reference to the year 1776 and America’s Declaration of Independence — and thus, his own freedom; the latter could have been a reference to the BMW X1 and X2.)
Ruthenberg was given a field sobriety test, but he refused to comply with even the most basic instructions. For instance, when he was told to walk in a straight line, turn and walk back to the officers, he walked the line but then walked backward toward the cops, who were seemingly unimpressed with his intoxicated moonwalk. Next, they asked him to submit to a full breathalyzer test to determine if he was drunk. Ruthenberg consented and then blew two completely clean breath tests. Nearly out of answers, the officers moved on to a urine test.
Ruthenberg agreed. But then he dropped his pants and shoved two fingers in his ass to mock the police. He was handcuffed in response. However, much like Florida’s mercurial weather, Ruthenberg suddenly settled back down, and he “provided a urine sample after washing his hands.”
The cops at the jail remained wholly confused by Ruthenberg. And so, the arresting officer brought in a Drug Recognition Expert to help ID what the hell was going on with him. But before the DRE officer could complete their evaluation, Ruthenberg grew combative and erratic again, and had to be placed back in handcuffs. The DRE determined that after “observing Ruthenberg’s behavior and vital signs at the hospital, they were consistent with someone under the influence of CNS stimulant.”
A CNS, or central nervous system, stimulant can refer to cocaine or crack, meth or other amphetamines. It also, though, includes gas station and pharmacy stimulants such as NoDoz, Adderall and Ritalin.
Ruthenberg is scheduled to return to the same Vero Beach courthouse where he was married on October 1st, so he can plead to the charges in his arraignment hearing (that’s when the toxicology report should be available, too). His wildy memorable wedding story has now come full circle. Let’s just hope, for his sake, that his new bride doesn’t use his return trip to the courthouse to file for divorce.