A man in Florida has been arrested and charged for allegedly stealing a bulldozer and running over people’s lawns to rip up Biden/Harris signs.
James Blight, 26, was arrested Saturday and charged with grand theft auto and trespassing, with additional charges possible, Mike Ferguson, public information officer for the Haines City Police, said.
“Blight told police that he had been drinking whiskey all day and did not remember most of the day,” Ferguson said in an email Monday. “He said that he couldn’t help but hit the Joe Biden signs and acknowledged to taking down a fence in the process. Blight said he did not know how to operate the equipment.”
Blight ran over a private chain-link fence, several signs, and a speed limit sign.
Haines City police Chief Jim Elensky said, “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.”
A neighbor who saw the incident, Cornelius Marion, told NBC News that he saw Blight digging up the signs on private property.
“He revved up the engine and rammed the fence,” Marion said. “I jumped into my truck and called 911 and followed him along, and the whole time he’s riding down the road, he’s yelling at people, cussing them out,”
Marion said that he heard Blight tell someone at an intersection that he was going to run over them.
Marion said that Blight, who is white, vandalized a Black neighborhood.
“He claimed he was drunk, but if he was drunk could he steal and drive a tractor right up here to this area, that’s a predominantly Black area? Operating the backhoe like a normal person?” Marion said. “I understand he was saying, ‘I accidentally ran into something,’ but no, you deliberately dropped your front end loader at the other house and you just scooped up in their yard, so I don’t buy the drunkenness part.”