Drunk Florida man jumps into ocean after pursuit, crash, police say

Man tells deputies chase would make 'a great story' after his rescue


DUCK KEY, Fla. – A drunken man led Monroe County deputies on a high-speed chase early Sunday, eventually crashing his pickup truck into the entrance sign for Duck Key and jumping into the ocean, authorities told News4Jax sister station WPLG

Deputies on a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission boat pulled the man from the water, but not before he tried to elude authorities by clinging to a piling under a bridge, said Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.

After his rescue, the man reportedly told deputies that the morning's events would make for "a great story" to tell his friends and family.

Nicholas Tralka, 31, faces a number of charges, including driving while under the influence, causing property damage and resisting arrest.

Deputies said Tralka was spotted speeding and slammed into a concrete median before he could be pulled over. He kept driving and deputies chased him in a pursuit that reach upwards of 100 mph.

Tralka kept driving despite the use of tire spikes to stop him, and he eventually hit a light pole and palm tree and rolled into an entrance sign for Duck Key, authorities said.

That's when he got out of the vehicle and jumped over a nearby seawall, trying to swim away, deputies said.

He eventually surrendered and was pulled out of the water by wildlife officers.

For more on this story and what Tralka had to say after his capture, go to local10.com.