Man busted when flat-tire call to police went to pot

Liz Evans Scolforo

When an out-of-state man got a flat tire on Interstate 83 and needed help changing it, he knew just what to do — call the state police for help.

He clearly didn't expect to be arrested for it.

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According to state police, 60-year-old William Howard got a flat tire on Interstate 83 southbound about 1:45 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Glen Rock exit (Exit 8). Police said he didn't have the tools he needed to change the flat.

Instead of pulling off the highway, he stopped in the center median, then called for help, according to Trooper Rob Hicks, a state police spokesman.

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"He actually called the (Loganville state police) station for assistance," Hicks said.

Trooper Patrick Loughman responded quickly.

"Because of its location, he wanted to get this car off the roadway as soon as possible," Hicks said, as it was a road hazard. "So he offered to help the gentleman change the tire."

Things went to pot for the Tonawanda, New York, man when Loughman opened the back hatch of Howard's vehicle, according to Hicks.

"He got walloped with the smell of marijuana," Hicks said.

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At that point, Howard admitted to having marijuana in his car and handed over four joints to Loughman, according to Hicks.

Loughman arrested Howard and took him to the county's central booking unit, police said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.