DUI suspect, 78, who quoted famous lines to contest charges

A Tyrone man who police claim quoted Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra during his arrest on driving under the influence charges said he’ll fight the case.

Herbert Goss, 78, blamed taking prescription medication on an empty stomach for his confused state June 18 outside his Sylvan Acres residence, where Tyrone police alleged he struck a parked vehicle while driving drunk. Goss, a retired door-to-door Fuller Brush and vacuum cleaner salesman, said he was parked when police arrived and will fight the charges.

“I don’t know how I could be arrested for DUI,” Goss said Tuesday, adding because of numerous health problems that his gait is always unsteady. “I stagger anytime I get up from the sitting position.”

Tyrone police saw things differently, according to Goss’ charges, and alleged Goss was drunk and only responded to the officer’s questions with lines from the Humphrey Bogart classic film “Casablanca” and Frank Sinatra’s signature song “My Way.” Police said Goss had trouble standing and refused a blood test at Tyrone Hospital after his arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Goss said a neighbor called police after he bumped his car upon returning from the local American Legion and that he was parked when the cops arrived.

As to why he invoked classic movie and song lines during his run-in with police, Goss said it’s just his nature.

“That’s me,” Goss said. “I’ve sung and told stories all my life.”

Goss, who writes a weekly column for the town’s small newspaper and published a book of fiction in 2004 called “Geese Still Fly,” said he probably can’t afford a private attorney and will apply for a public defender to represent him at his Aug. 6 preliminary hearing in Tyrone.

“I’ll see them in district court,” Goss said of the police.