Police Pull Over Man Who Took a Joy Ride on a Bulldozer
A man police say is homeless is accused of stealing a backhoe and driving back and forth across the Seven Mile Bridge.
Video has emerged of the unbelievable joyride police say a man took in a backhoe across the bridge that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Tuesday that 59-year-old Carl Blahnik damaged the roadway and the sides of the bridge as the jackhammer on the machine dragged along behind it.
Police say Blahnick recklessly changed directions on Seven Mile Bridge several times, forcing deputies to turn around and follow him each time.
After a patrol vehicle was damaged in the pursuit, "deputies finally left the bridge for their own safety, also making sure all other vehicles exited the bridge as well," according to the statement, which was posted along with video to Facebook.
Cops say when Blahnik finally drove off the north end of the bridge, deputies threw spike strips in front of the backhoe, puncturing its tires.
When the vehicle came to a halt, Blahnik was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital after saying he was having trouble breathing and feeling pain in his shoulder. He was then taken to jail.
Blahnik was carrying a Wisconsin identification card, but deputies believe he is possibly homeless and staying in a nearby wooded area.
It is believed the backhoe may have been taken from a construction site, police said.
Traffic was stopped in both directions for hours before finally being opened back up at 3 a.m.
Blahnik was charged with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, digging up or any way disturbing any street or highway, failing to register a motor vehicle and grand theft of a vehicle.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 25.
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