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Man Allegedly Takes Excavator For Joyride, Prompting Evacuation Of Several Homes
Residents in Topeka, Kansas were confused when they saw a large construction vehicle driving down their street a little past midnight.
A Kansas man is accused of taking a construction excavator for a joy ride over the weekend, wreaking havoc in his community and prompting several homes to be evacuated in order to avoid the potential destruction.
Shane Dee Funk, 46, is accused of stealing the excavator in Topeka a little after midnight Sunday, WIBW in Topeka reports.
Residents found it strange to see the construction vehicle, typically used for big digging projects, being driven down their street.
"My initial thought was, 'Was there a scheduled construction that I wasn't aware of?'" an unidentified woman told WIBW.
Residents reported the odd sighting to police who allegedly found Funk driving through yards and streets, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
“The occupant refused to stop for officers,” Topeka Police Department Capt. Colleen Stuart told the outlet. “Numerous residences in the loader’s path were evacuated for safety purposes.”
Officers surrounded the excavator but said they had to duck when he allegedly swung the arm of the vehicle towards them, according to WIBW.
“The occupant operating the loader turned it toward officers, forcing a tactical intervention option by way of a kinetic energy impact ammunition to slow the loader down,” she said. Translation: they fired bean bag pellets at him and also tased him.
Funk was injured in the process and WIBW shot video of him being brought into an ambulance. He was treated at a local hospital before posing for a bloody mugshot. He’s been charged with theft, criminal damage to property, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, flee or attempt to elude and a probation violation, according to online jail records.
It’s not clear how much property damage was caused during the bizarre incident, which lasted 10 minutes. No officers were injured. No motive was released.
Funk’s being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond and other separate bonds worth $3,000 for outstanding warrants. It’s not clear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf at this time.