Associated Press reporter Ryan Foley took the terribly tragic death of an Iowa teenager and turned it into a political hit piece intended to hurt Republicans. Foley tries to create some sort of narrative that Adventureland’s CEO donations to Republican candidates helped lead to the tragedy on the Raging River that led to the death of an 11-year-old boy.
He even notes that Gov. Kim Reynolds has been “publicly silent” about the accident. Foley then notes about a recent law change that allows 16- and 17-year-old employees to operate Adventureland’s rides.
But what Foley doesn’t report is that House File 92 was cosponsored by Democrat — DEMOCRAT — Rep. Ras Smith. Smith announced his candidacy for governor earlier this summer.
Guess the facts didn’t fit the narrative for Foley.
Foley routinely reveals his partisan side in his work — saying a bill to strengthen Iowa’s voter integrity “cripples absentee voting by mail.” Foley noted that a man who drove through racial injustice protesters would avoid prison and have the case dismissed in three years if he stays out of trouble. He attempted to get my friend in trouble at her job for what she said about attending the Jan. 6 Capitol rally. He’s also written a number of pieces that are critical of law enforcement in Iowa.
He also wrote about Iowa removing files from Gov. Kim Reynolds’s drunk driving arrest that exposed personal information.
But this latest attempted hit job at Adventureland is too much from Foley, who was arrested in December of 2018 for driving while intoxicated with his wife and two kids — ages 2 and 5 — in the vehicle. Foley’s blood alcohol content was .098 at the time of the traffic stop, which happened after he ran three stop signs.
You can view Foley’s traffic violations on dashboard camera footage below:
Foley was asked to take a field sobriety test during the traffic stop. He told the officer he had a beer and a couple of samples of wine.
During the test, Foley asked what the problem is (4-minute mark).
“You smell of ingested alcohol, sir,” the officer said. “You’ve admitted that you have been drinking, you’re driving, I’m making sure that you’re OK to be driving.”
Foley asked what the probable cause was to pull him over and was told to ask the other officer. During his tests, Foley seems to struggle. The officer tells Foley he’ll perform a breath test, and Foley asks if he is free to go.
“No, you’re not free to go,” the officer says prior to conducting the breath test. Foley’s test results from the traffic stop came back at .098 (9:40 mark).
At that point, he is placed under arrest.
Foley’s wife then performed a breath test to make sure she could drive. She came back at an .024 and was able to drive the kids home.
She asked what was happening to Foley. When it was explained, she asked if she could go talk to Foley.
“Can you let him blow again like I don’t see how this is possible,” his wife said at the 15:18 mark. “I just feel like this is not even possible. He literally had one beer.”
Foley can be heard saying:
“This seems like a major injustice,” he said. “Couldn’t she just drive me home? Literally, if you have concerns about…”
The officer told Foley he performed “poorly” on the field sobriety tests.
“Well, I’m scared out of my mind,” Foley said. “I’m very nervous. I can’t even talk to you guys.”
After the officer asked why he’s scared or nervous, Foley’s wife said “this doesn’t happen to us.”
Back at the police station, Foley asks if he blows a .08 if he will be free to go. An .085 is the gray area, the officer said. Foley was an .088 and an .089 according to the test at the police station.
“Can you retest,” Foley asks at the 17:30 mark.
It sounds like Foley said his life is ruined by .002.
Foley is told it sounded like there was a stop sign violation, which led to the traffic stop. Foley asks if the officer can use his discretion.
“I’m a law-abiding citizen,” he says. “I will never make this mistake again.”
Foley said he is asking the officer to use his discretion.
“Sir, you’re already under arrest. I don’t have the authority to unarrest you,” he said.
“Does anyone,” Foley asked.
“The county attorney’s office,” the officer says.
Foley said point three-hundredths is going to “ruin my life.”
“Technically it’s a .08,” the officer says.
The officer who initiated the traffic stop comes in and tells Foley which stop signs he ran.
“It just seemed like that escalated from a, a, incredibly quickly from, you know, a stop sign,” Foley said before being interrupted.
At the 23:40 mark, Foley is told of his child endangerment charge. His eyebrows raise after a second or two.
“Child endangerment,” he asks.
“Well, you’re driving while intoxicated and you’ve got children in the car,” the officer says.
Foley asked the officer again to use his discretion.
“No, you’re under arrest. I can’t unarrest you,” the officer says. “And you’re over an .08 and over an .085.”
Foley then says officers use their discretion every day.
“Do we let drunk drivers go?” the officer asks someone.
“No,” they answer.
“We don’t. The days of parking your car and catching a ride or officers driving people home — that’s long come and gone. Everything’s on body cameras and car videos and audio and all that kind of stuff,” the officer said. “We don’t operate that way anymore.”
Foley said he understands all of that, “it’s just there’s a dispute over whether someone is a drunk driver or not…”
“Well sir, there’s no dispute here,” the officer says. “There might be in your mind, but.”
Foley was able to have charges of driving while intoxicated and child endangerment dismissed in November 2019 after completing seven months of self-supervised probation, according to The Des Moines Register. Foley’s record was expunged and he faced no other charges related to driving over the legal limit with two children in the vehicle.