Wrong-way driver busted with nitrous oxide by Tavares police

TAVARES, Fla.—A wrong-way driver who caught the attention of a Tavares Police Department officer Sunday was arrested for possession of four canisters of nitrous oxide, commonly known as “whippets,” according to a report.

Just before noon Sunday, a TPD officer was parked at Lake County Schools on Burleigh Boulevard when she spotted a grey SUV traveling eastbound in a westbound lane, causing other drivers to swerve into the median and switch lanes, a report states.

The officer activated her lights and sirens and caught up to the SUV around Banning Beach Road, where it pulled over in the middle of Burleigh Boulevard/U.S. Highway 441. She directed the driver, later identified as Kyle Tillberg, to pull over in a nearby shopping plaza.

Tillberg, who was “extremely pale” and had “constricted pupils,” the officer noted, was questioned why he was driving the wrong way and he reportedly said, he believed everyone else was driving the wrong way, the report states.

The officer asked Tillberg if he was under the influence of anything and he denied it, according to the report. He told the officer he was trying to make it to the smoke shop located in the plaza where they were stopped, but that plaza does not have a smoke shop, officer stated in the report.

Tillberg gave officers consent to search the rental vehicle he was driving and upon searching, they found nine small zip-top bags that were ripped open and empty, along with a tenth bag in a compartment under the radio; that bag contained a white, screw-on nozzle tip. Three 680-gram tanks of nitrous oxide were found on the rear floorboard behind the driver’s seat, and one was found tucked under the passenger seat; two of the four tanks were still cold to the touch, according to the report.

The officer requested a drug recognition expert (DRE) to determine if Tillberg was under the influence, and one was not available in Lake or Orange county, the report states. Tillberg, 57, of Mount Dora, was arrested for possessing nitrous oxide and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $3,000 bond.

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