“He’s a big boy. I guess he got out of breath running.”
That’s the only explanation a front-desk clerk who declined to give her name could give for why 29-year-old, 300-pound Westlee Osborne jumped fully clothed into the pool at the Super 8 Motel in the 6300 block of Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East after police said he led them on a 110-mph chase Sunday night.
Osborne’s alleged wild ride of crime began with an attempted stick-up at Hoffer’s Discount Store in the 2500 block of Paris Road in St. Bernard Parish about 8 p.m. The clerk there was able to disarm him, a police report said, and the would-be robber fled in a silver Ford Focus.
U.S. News gives the 2015 Focus credit for its “lively handling,” and Osborne purportedly put the car to the test: leading state troopers toward the lake on Interstate 510, west on Hayne Boulevard, then left on Downman Road at speeds up to 110 mph. His luck ran out, a trooper wrote in a report, where Downman hits Chef Menteur Highway. He smashed into another vehicle and took off on foot.
Osborne then ran into the Super 8 Motel, police said, and went straight to the pool.
“It was one of those scenes like, ‘Really, dude?’ ” the clerk said.
Guests stared at the newcomer in astonishment, she said.
“He was actually swimming around the pool like he had been in there,” she said with a laugh.
But police weren’t fooled. They quickly arrived and took Osborne into custody. When St. Bernard deputies looked into his car they saw a large amount of cash on the front passenger floorboard, the arrest report states.
Between the cash, Osborne’s girth and his distinctive “Save the Time” T-shirt, police also connected him to a robbery about 12:45 a.m. at Mike’s Food Mart in the 3900 block of St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans, where the robber made off with money.
Police said Osborne was taken to Interim LSU Hospital with minor injuries. He was booked on counts of negligent injuring, armed robbery and criminal trespass and is being held on $195,000 bond.