California Man Climbed Under Truck and Guzzled Wine Out of Valve as It Sped Along Highway

A California man allegedly climbed under a truck transporting wine and guzzled the alcohol as the vehicle sped along a highway.

Gabriel Moreno, 39, was driving north on Highway 99 on Tuesday afternoon when he pulled alongside a Cherokee Freight Lines truck that was hauling red wine, The Modesto Bee reported.

California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Olsen told the newspaper that Moreno caught the driver's attention by indicating that something was wrong with the vehicle.

When the truck pulled over on the side of the highway, Olsen said Moreno then got out of his car in his underwear and ran to the back of the trailer.

The driver re-entered the highway while Moreno unscrewed a valve in a bid to drink the wine in the vehicle's tank, Olsen said.

Olsen added that the driver wasn't able to see him, but noticed that his dashboard gauge showed the truck was losing weight so he pulled over and found Moreno drinking the wine.

On Wednesday, May 6th, 2020, a sergeant with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department took notice of a large crowd...

Posted by Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Moreno "jumped down and placed himself beneath the belly of the truck and was just indulging in the wine," Olsen told the Modesto Bee. "He was lying on the ground and doing snow angels, basically, as the wine was pouring down on him."

According to CBS13, a dashcam video captured Moreno in a sedan directing the truck to the side of the highway. It then captures him running to the passenger side of the vehicle and out of sight.

Another camera on board the truck shows him on the back of the vehicle and then climbing underneath as it speeds up along the highway.

The truck lost about 1,000 gallons of wine during the incident, according to Cherokee Freight Lines.

Moreno, of Hayward, attempted to flee when caught by the truck driver, according to the Modesto Bee but when CHP officers caught up to him, he was cooperative.

He was booked into jail for felony vandalism and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.

Moreno was released from custody on Wednesday because of the state's no-bail order due to the coronavirus pandemic. But according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, he was arrested again moments later.

Container truck drivers pass conatiners stacked high at the Port of Los Angeles on March 26, 2020. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

In a Facebook post, the sheriff's department said a sergeant noticed a large crowd had gathered in the parking lot of the Community Services Agency in Modesto.

Officers with the Ceres Police Department were trying to detain Moreno who had allegedly tried to steal a truck that belonged to a landscaping company, but an employee had intervened and alerted authorities.

"Moreno was distressed by the early release and was unhappy he didn't get a sandwich as part of the standard meal at the [Public Safety Center]," the sheriff's department said. "As a way of getting a return visit to the jail, where he hoped to finally enjoy his sandwich, Moreno attempted to steal a company truck belonging to a landscaping crew."

The department added: "We commend our neighbors for looking out for one another, salute the efforts of our partners with CHP & Ceres Police, & remind everyone that public safety is a team effort. Moreno went back to jail on charges of felony auto theft."

But auto theft is also eligible for zero bail under the California Judicial Council's mandate to ease crowding in jails during the pandemic, a spokesperson for the sheriff's department told the Modesto Bee, so Moreno was released from custody again on Thursday.

Cherokee Freight Lines, the CHP and the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department have been contacted for comment.