The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Gary R Higgins of Clermont Florida. Mr. Higgins gets the award for stealing a boom crane last week. Yes you heard that right, a boom crane!. Mr. Higgins actions ended with the totalling of that $250,000 piece of construction equipment plus other damage to the site where the crane was taken from. The police say the 19-year-old Higgins was bored; I wouldn't be surprised if someone dared the young man to do what he did. It makes almost no sense otherwise. Don't matter either way, Gary R Higgins is today's knucklehead of the day.
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CLERMONT -- What started as an apparent joy ride on a stolen crane ended with a teenager in jail, several trucks damaged and a construction company facing a huge repair bill.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested Gary R. Higgins, 19, at his Clermont apartment Thursday on charges of reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
But that isn't the only trouble he faces.
Polk County sheriff's officials said they will charge Higgins with several counts of burglary, two counts of grand-theft auto and three counts of criminal mischief.
"He created a lot of havoc," Polk sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said.
Deputies said that just after midnight, Higgins broke into the Handy Storage facility off U.S. Highway 27 near Davenport by apparently jumping over a fence.
He first tried to steal a truck with a construction crane mounted on top, but crashed it into two trucks at the facility, authorities said.
Higgins then tried to steal two other trucks and also crashed those into other vehicles and the side of a building, according to reports.
Apparently, he seemed desperate to take something.
So he climbed inside the 30-foot-long truck with a boom crane on top, found a hidden key and drove the rig through a fence, Rodgers said.
Higgins then headed north on U.S. 27 into Lake County, authorities said.
When he tried to make a right turn into Nelson Park apartments, where he lived, the truck overturned, trapping Higgins inside, according to the FHP.
Higgins, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Florida Hospital Celebration with minor injuries, the FHP said.
Troopers said a blood test at the hospital showed no evidence of alcohol or drugs.
After Higgins was released, Polk deputy sheriffs received a call from Handy Storage about the damage to the property and the missing crane. Deputies then alerted troopers, who arrested Higgins.
Randi Meinhart of MCI Crane Service said the crane, worth about $250,000, was destroyed.
Two other trucks the company keeps at the storage yard also were damaged.
"It's a huge loss for us," she said. "It's really going to hurt us."
Labels: Knucklehead of the Day