** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **
An Anchorage man driving a front loader with an attached fork lift ripped the front entrance off a Brown Jug Liquor store in College Village early Thursday morning. He went on to grab some booze from the store and lead police on a low-speed chase through Airport Heights before being captured in a motorhome park on DeBarr Road. Police have identified the man as 38-year-old Joseph Martin. At around 3:20 a.m. police responded to a report that a man in a fork lift had crashed through the window of the Brown Jug located in a strip mall at E Northern Lights Blvd and Lake Otis Parkway. After making off with some alcohol, the driver headed east on Northern Lights, driving the loader at about 15-miles per hour.
Multiple police cars responded. In the audio of a dash cam video, officers are heard trying to figure out how to stop the large piece of heavy machinery. One officer suggests putting down spike strips but another responds that would not work because they would pierce the machine’s thick tires. At another point, they consider using birdshot but decide against it. “It was challenging for us to figure out how to stop this thing,” said APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. The man drove through the Airport Heights neighborhood, eventually crossing Bragaw Street and continuing on to an RV park near DeBarr Road. Police ended up lining several patrol cars in a row to block the driver from continuing his journey through the motorhome park.
When the front loader came to a stop, officers approached with weapons drawn and ordered the man out. The driver can be seen jumping out and getting handcuffed on the street. Police say they discovered alcohol bottles were found inside of the loader and smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Martin’s breath. He failed field sobriety tests. Police later determined that the front loader had been stolen from a construction site. Martin faces a variety of charges including criminal mischief, failure to stop, theft, burglary, and felony DUI. His bail was set at $30,000 cash-corporate and $50,000 performance. Martin is required to have a third-party custodian.
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