Deputies: After night at casino, drunk couple went from Wawa dumpster to garbage truck

Posted at 8:28 AM, Feb 11, 2015
and last updated 2017-02-08 08:53:11-05

A couple had to be rescued from a garbage truck Wednesday morning after they got drunk and fell asleep inside a dumpster, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The garbage truck driver was running his route when he heard yelling and banging coming from the back of his vehicle. He pulled over and found a man and a woman in the back, but he could not get them out.

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Radmas Valasquez, the driver, said he's received training related to this specific situation.

"It is kind of cold. We are told that people do sleep in the containers," said Valasquez, a driver for Progressive Waste Solutions of Tampa for nine years. "I actually didn't believe it. I guess nobody believes it 'til they see it, and I seen it myself today."

Deputies and medics responded just after 5 a.m. to help Donald Jordan, 37, and Lisa Sirbella, 49, get out of the truck.

An investigation revealed that the two had been spending time at the nearby Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and afterward ended up sleeping inside the dumpster at a Wawa gas station at Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue.

When the dumpster was emptied, both of them were thrown into the back of the truck.

The pair were taken to Tampa General Hospital for complaints of back pain. 

Deputies told ABC Action News the man clearly smelled of alcohol, was slurring his speech and was even aggressive towards law enforcement after the rescue. ABC Action News was able to contact Mr. Jordan's father, who explained that his son and girlfriend were homeless and that he had no idea how they could have gotten to Tampa or why they were there.

The garbage truck company, Progressive Waste Solutions, told law enforcement the Wawa is one of the driver's first stops of the day, and there was not much trash in the truck at the time of the incident.

"So today the good part was I wasn't loaded," said the driver. "If I was fully loaded, I probably would have crushed them to death. Honestly."