A man’s attempt to avoid a New Port Richey DUI arrest backfired when he tried to pretend he was deaf only to find the officer conducting the DUI traffic stop knew sign language. Christopher Michael O’ Callaghan requested an interpreter claiming he was deaf upon being stopped for a suspected DUI. The problem for O’ Callaghan was Officer Chris Denton took it upon himself to learn sign language and when O’ Callaghan couldn’t understand the signs or read Denton’s lips, his ploy to avoid an arrest failed.
Denton was not the first officer on the scene when O’ Callaghan’s truck was stopped on aptly named Trouble Creek Road and U.S. 19. He provided support when the stop turned into a DUI investigation. O’ Callaghan gave multiple false names to officers before they finally figured out the man’s true identity. O’ Callaghan admitted to officers that he wasn’t deaf and provided his actual name.
The 32-year-old driver also admitted to driving on drugs, telling police officer he smoked marijuana but he denied drinking and driving. O’ Callaghan refused field sobriety tests and breath tests at the jail. On his way to jail for his Pasco County DUI arrest, O’ Callaghan allegedly told officers he usually gets away with things after claiming to be deaf.
O’ Callaghan, who is from Spring Hill was officially charged with driving while license suspended, DUI, contempt of court, from a previous charge and providing false ID to a police officer. He is being held at Land O’ Lakes jail without bail due to his contempt of court charge. Denton said this is the first time he has been involved with a stop where the suspect pretended to have a disability to get out of the crime. He said other traffic stops have involved people pretending they didn’t speak English but pretending to be deaf was a first.