Mounting a piece of machinery you’ve never used before can be pretty dangerous. A homeless man decided to take a little joyride to Beverly Beach, Florida, leaving behind a “path of destruction.”
The Flager County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a man driving a large piece of construction equipment on a sidewalk. When officers arrived at the scene, Randy Wealand was operating the stolen machine.
Body camera footage from the altercation between officers and the 56-year-old was released. In the video, Wealand first told the authorities he had got the equipment from a rental shop.
“You realized you were hitting some things back there. Why are we driving this thing down the sidewalk?” the deputy asked. “I can take it down the road. It would be a lot quicker,” Wealand said.
An investigation revealed Wealand did steal the $60,000 Lull from a construction site and took it 2.5 miles south along A1A to Beverly Beach. In the process, he ran over two fire hydrants, a Charter Communications fiber node, resident mailboxes, and broke several sections of public sidewalk. The damage he caused is believed to be more than $10,000.
The Flager County Sheriff’s Office posted about the incident on Facebook. “Wealand would have caused more damage if he was not stopped and apprehended by deputies. Another win for ‘see something, say something, so a special thank you to the citizens who called us and helped prevent this dirtbag from continuing his dangerous path of destruction,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement.
Wealand has an extensive criminal history and in this instance, was arrested on charges of grand theft, theft from a construction site, felony criminal mischief and trespass on a construction site. He is being held on a $12,500 bond.