John Morillo, a 47-year-old Canadian man, apologized today for causing an international incident last night when he drank eight beers and then swam across the Detroit River, just to prove to his friends he could.
Speaking to the Windsor Star after being released from jail this morning, Morillo said in retrospect it was "really stupid" of him to drunkenly swim across the river, but not without adding that he wanted his incredulous buddies to know he'd pulled it off (emphasis ours):
If I’m going to be in the paper, I’d at least like them to say I actually made it, even though I got in trouble and everything. I gotta pay fines and stuff. But I don’t want it to sound like I didn’t make it, because then my buddies are going to say 'ha, ha, you didn’t make it.' Because that was the whole thing, to show them I could do it.
Morillo's stunt launched a joint search mission between the Canadian and U.S. coast guards when his neighbor called the police after losing sight of him in the water. Rescue efforts included three boats and a helicopter. Morillo, who calls himself a "strong swimmer," had made it across the river and was on his way back when the U.S. Coast Guard found him floating on the Canadian side at around 1 AM, two hours after he'd initially entered the water.
Windsor authorities have banned Morillo from all waterfront city property and will fine him $5,000 for swimming in a shipping channel. Exacerbating everything, Morillo, who was ultimately charged with being intoxicated in public, says his mom is very mad at him. "She just hung up on me," Morillo told the Star. "She said 'you’re just so stupid.'"