Road rage: Backhoe operator accused of smashing cars

Credits: Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency


KENORA - Beware the man with a bad case of road rage and a hydraulic back-hoe at his disposal.

At about 7 p.m. Thursday night, several cars were damaged - including a police cruiser - when a Kenora man allegedly lashed out at his fellow motorists with the bucket of a mini-excavator he was driving.

According to a witness, the driver, who has not bet been identified pending charges, was holding up traffic and began swinging the bucket at the drivers lined up behind him after one woman got out of her van to yell at him.

"She slipped and fell, and she was lucky she did because because he swung the bucket toward her," said Sovannaroth Yik, one of the drivers behind the excavator.

"She jumped into her van and drove past him and he started going after the van beside me. I couldn't back up because there was bunch of vehicles behind me and I couldn't turn around so I try going forward.

"But he swung the bucket in front of me and smashed the front of my Jeep. He proceeded to push me with the bucket into another vehicle behind me and up a snow bank and then I realized he was going to start swinging the bucket toward my driver's side so I drove into a driveway ... but the bucket ended up tearing the back of my Jeep."

Police were called and an OPP officer arrived, only to have the back-hoe operator attack his vehicle as well.

"He picked up the cop car a couple of feet and let it down," says Yik.

According to Yik, after trying to negotiate with the operator, the officer forced his way into the cab of the excavator and subdued the man with the use of a Taser.

Police confirmed several vehicles were damaged and that the suspect was subdued with the use of a conductive energy weapon. They are still trying to find witnesses who left the scene.

A police spokesman could not confirm if the man was intoxicated, say what caused the the incident, how many vehicles were damaged or what the suspect's name is because the investigation is still underway.

Charges are expected to be laid against the suspect in the next couple of days, and for the moment the man has been released from police custody.

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