HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA/AP) — Authorities and homeowners in Polk County have accused a 26-year-old man of stealing a bulldozer from a construction site and driving it into a neighborhood to knock down campaign signs promoting Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Haines City police say that James Blight stole the bulldozer on Saturday.
Former Vice Mayor Adam Burgess lives in the predominantly Black neighborhood and said Blight took two Biden signs from his yard, then bulldozed his fence.
Police said Blight claimed that he had been drinking whiskey all day and did not remember most of the day. Blight added he did not know how to operate the equipment. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him.
Haines City Police Chief Jim Elensky released a statement on Blight’s arrest.
“It’s absurd that a grown man could think he had the right to destroy someone else’s property based on a difference in political opinion. The fact that he was driving this heavy equipment, that he did not know how to operate, down busy roads could have been disastrous. We’re thankful that no one was hurt in this matter.”Haines City Police Chief Jim Elensky
Blight is being charged with grand theft greater than $40,000 and trespassing on a construction site. Further charges are pending regarding the private property damage.
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