Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yeah, I'd say they were "startled!"

From Palatka, Florida in The Palatka Daily News:

Naked man charged with stealing truck

Employees at Johnson’s Towing were startled Friday morning when a naked man ran onto the business’ property and stole an employee’s truck, authorities said.

According to witnesses, sometime around 10 a.m., the naked man, identified as Wayne Dennis Bolan, 41, came onto the business at 352 N. U.S. 17 and hopped into a pickup truck owned by Dean Johnson, brother of owner Donald Johnson.

“He ran into our lot buck naked and ran straight to my truck,” Dean Johnson said. “One of the guys hollered out, ‘There’s a naked man running through our lot,’ and my brother ran outside. Then the guy cranked the truck and was backing it up.”

Johnson said Bolan spun the tires, shooting gravel everywhere, then crashed into a fence, tearing down the business’ gate.

Dean Johnson said he ran out of the office and jumped into the bed of the truck. At that moment Bolan put the pedal to the floor and began fleeing down U.S. 17.

“I realized what was happening and, like an idiot, I jumped in the back of my truck,” he said. “When he hit the asphalt on 17 I knew that I needed to get out.”

According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the truck began doing “doughnuts” on 17, spinning around and leaving skid marks on the road.

Realizing that he was in real danger due to Bolan’s erratic driving, Dean Johnson said he picked an instant when the tires were spinning freely to bail out. At that moment, however, the truck caught traction and Johnson was thrown out.

Fortunately, Johnson only suffered some bruises and asphalt burns from the pavement and was quickly picked up by his brother, Donald, who had been following in his own truck.

The brothers pursued the vehicle down State Road 100 west through Palm Avenue, when the truck slowed and turned into the parking lot behind Lowe’s Building Supply.

According to the sheriff’s office, Bolan, having cornered himself, jumped a culvert pipe and crashed the truck into a ditch.

Dean Johnson said he and his brother then pulled the suspect out of the truck.

At that moment, Sheriff’s Maj. Gary Bowling and Sgt. Rodney Harper arrived and handcuffed Bolan, who was then taken by ambulance to Putnam Community Medical Center. While there, he was given clothes and medically cleared for booking.

Bolan was booked into the Putnam County Jail, where he was charged with grand theft auto and simple trespassing. His bond was set at $1,508.

Dean Johnson said his truck, a 1987 model with only 80,000 miles, was totaled.

“It’s just crazy,” he said. “How often does a naked guy run and jump in your truck and leave with it?”

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