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Armed Man in Bulldozer Goes on Rampage

this dude turned a bulldozer into a tank.
U.S. National - AP


Armed Man in Bulldozer Goes on Rampage

Fri Jun 4, 9:40 PM ET Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!


By P. SOLOMON BANDA, Associated Press Writer

GRANBY, Colo. - A muffler shop owner reportedly angry at local government over a zoning dispute tore through town Friday in an armored bulldozer, smashing buildings and firing shots as police tried to stop the slow-motion rampage.


AP Photo



The siege left a trail of splintered structures in this mountain tourist town outside Rocky Mountain National Park, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.


"Gunfire was just ringing out everywhere," said Sandra Tucker, who saw the bulldozer begin the rampage from her office on Main Street. "It sounded to me like an automatic rifle, firing about every second."


By late afternoon, the bulldozer had come to a stop stuck in the rubble of a metal warehouse. Officers clambered on top, apparently trying to talk to the man, whose condition was unknown.


The cab of the yellow bulldozer was protected with black metal plates apparently welded on over a period of weeks in his muffler shop.


"It looked like a futuristic tank," said Rod Moore, speaking by phone from his auto garage and towing company.


He said the dozer rumbled past within 15 feet of his shop, with an officer perched on top, firing shots into the top. At one point, he said the officer dropped some kind of explosive down the exhaust pipe.


"He just kept shooting," Moore said. "The dozer was still going. He threw what looked like a flash bang down the exhaust, it didn't do a thing."


Authorities with the Grand County sheriff's office and town police did not immediately return calls. The State Patrol said all roads in and out of the town 50 miles west of Denver were closed.


County manager Lurline Curran said the man was reportedly angry over the zoning dispute that he lost.


"He evidently proceeded in destroying the properties of people involved with that," Curran said. She said she had heard the man spent two months fortifying the bulldozer in his shop.


Ian Daugherty, a bakery owner, said the driver was upset a concrete plant had been built too close to his business. The driver, Daugherty added, "went out of his way" not to harm anyone.


State Patrol Maj. Jim Wolfinbarger said officers told him the driver had aimed his weapon at propane tanks. Gov. Bill Owens alerted the National Guard and was prepared to send troops to the town if requested, but local authorities had not asked for that help, Owens spokesman Dan Hopkins said.


The bulldozer also knocked out natural gas service to City Hall and a cement plant, damaging a truck and part of a utility service center, Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz said.


Granby is a town of about 2,200 at nearly 8,000 feet. It is near the Winter Park ski resort and not far from the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.


The scene was reminiscent of a 1998 rampage in Alma, another town in the Colorado Rockies. Authorities said Tom Leask shot a man to death, then used a town-owned front-end loader to heavily damage the post office, fire department, water department and town hall.
Ariel Sharon Should Hire This Dude For Occupied Territories Duty 05.Jun.2004 01:35

RJG

I'll be Ariel Sharon's reaction to this story would be, "Put this guy to work in Greater Israel (a.k.a The Occupied Terroritories) demolishing Palestinian homes and farms and running over International Solidarity activists."

I'll bet anything this dude had some form of military training earlier in his life. Talk about settling a dispute Old West style with modern machinery.

This Guy is a Terrorist! 05.Jun.2004 02:36

balsam root

The puff piece news report --Daugherty, the bakery owner says that he "went out of his way" not to harm anyone--when the perp was clearly applying deliberate and calculated force against property, including public property, and firing a weapon, expressing his disagreement with government policy. Well, what the fuck does that sound like, folks? In the big brother new world of trashcraft, it's called TERRORISM?

Will this motorhead capitalist get 20 years? Will he get disappeared as a material witness? Will he go before a JTTF grand jury?

Hell, they'll probably put him in outpatient therapy and some community service!

i think you missed the point. 05.Jun.2004 02:38

juan

this guy had a cement plant zoned right next to his work that would expose him to bad air. he took action and destroyed as much property as possible of those responsible for creating this situation for him.

update, they killed him 05.Jun.2004 04:59

ap

GRANBY, Colo. - A muffler shop owner who plowed his makeshift armored bulldozer into several buildings over a dispute with city officials was found dead in the machine after a SWAT team gained access with explosives early Saturday, authorities said.


AP Photo



A statement from Grand County Undersheriff Glen Trainor early Saturday said the driver was found around 2 a.m. The statement did not give a cause.


The driver was identified by the town manager as muffler shop owner Marvin Heemeyer. Grand County Emergency Management Director Jim Holahan said Heemeyer was armed with a .50-caliber weapon but appeared to be deliberately avoiding injuring anyone during the rampage, which began Friday at about 3 p.m. No other injuries were reported.


Heemeyer, who lost two bitter battles with town officials, plowed the armor-plated bulldozer into the town hall, a former mayor's home and at least five other buildings Friday before the machine ground to a halt in the wreckage of a warehouse.


City officials said he was angry over a zoning dispute and fines from city code violations at his business.


Authorities detonated three explosions and fired at least 200 rounds against the heavy steel plates welded to the bulldozer. The first two detonations failed; the results of the third were not immediately known.


Trainor said the dozer's armor plates consisted of two sheets of half-inch steel with a layer of concrete between them.


Residents of this mountain tourist town of 2,200 described a bizarre scene as the bulldozer slowly crashed through buildings, trees and lampposts, with dozens of officers walking ahead or behind it, firing into the machine and shouting at townspeople to flee.


"It looked like a futuristic tank," said Rod Moore, who watched the dozer rumble past within 15 feet of his auto garage and towing company.


One officer, later identified as Trainor, was perched on top, firing shot after shot into the top and once dropping an explosive down the exhaust pipe.


"He just kept shooting," Moore said. "The dozer was still going. He threw what looked like a flash-bang down the exhaust. It didn't do a thing."


A flash-bang produces a blinding flash and earsplitting boom designed to stun a suspect.


"Gunfire was just ringing out everywhere," said Sandra Tucker, who saw the bulldozer begin the rampage from her office on Main Street. "It sounded to me like an automatic rifle, firing about every second."


At least 40 deputies, Colorado State Patrol officers, federal park and forest rangers and a SWAT team from nearby Jefferson County were at the scene.


Town manager Tom Hale said Heemeyer was angry after losing a zoning dispute that allowed a cement plant to be built near his muffler shop. Heemeyer also was fined $2,500 in a separate case for not having a septic tank and for other city code violations at his business, Hale said.


When he paid the fine, he enclosed a note with his check saying "Cowards," Hale said.


"We felt he was venting his frustration that he didn't get his way," Hale said of the note. "We didn't think he was going to do something like this."





Trainor said he believes Heemeyer spent months armoring the bulldozer, and investigators were looking into whether he had help.

Hale said owners of all the buildings that were damaged had some connection to Heemeyer's disputes.

The buildings included the cement plant, a utility company, a bank, a newspaper office, a hardware store and warehouse, the home of former Mayor L.R. "Dick" Thompson and the municipal building, which also housed a library.

Crumpled patrol cars and service trucks lay in the dozer's path. A pickup was folded nearly in half and had been rammed through the wall of a building.

Gov. Bill Owens traveled Friday night to Granby, about 50 miles west of Denver and 10 miles south of Rocky Mountain National Park.

State aid will be available to help rebuild local government buildings, and state officials will help businesses seek federal help, said Mike Beasley, director of the state Department of Local Affairs.

William Hertel, owner of High Altitude Audio, said the bulldozer drove by his business at mid-afternoon, crushing aspen trees and light poles after the rampage began around 3 p.m.

"I was up on the roof when he came by. I got down and got my wife and kids out of the back of the building," Hertel said. He said he had heard numerous shots.

The scene was reminiscent of a 1998 rampage in Alma, another town in the Colorado Rockies. Authorities said Tom Leask shot a man to death, then used a town-owned front-end loader to heavily damage the town's post office, fire department, water department and town hall.

the price of a life 05.Jun.2004 07:14

isht

the price of a white north americans life remains high compared to others; it costs about 4 buildings and 5-10 cars.

he didnt hurt anybody, but the new world order deems property value as worth more than life.

p.s. i had a fitting eulogy reading this while listening to immortal techniques' "obnoxious"
(burn it off the internet, go ahead; take it with shareaza or ed2k or piolet)

r.i.p. to the nonviolent ones that make a few miss their doughnuts and coffee.

Interesting Way To Exit This World 05.Jun.2004 08:02

Going In Style

Come on guys,this dude played out our own fantasies. Haven't we all dreamed at one time or another about this very action,whether it be directed towards Krispy Kream,Starbucks,OHSU,Katz,police stations or any number of government agencies?This guy went down during a very direct action.Long live fantasies.

Rename the town 05.Jun.2004 16:32

red suspenders

Should rename the town "palestine" Those poor folks have to deal with this on a daily basis. Remember it's our tax dollars doing it.

Casualty 06.Jun.2004 11:33

Bull Dozer

Heard today that when they finally cut into the cab, he was dead of a self-inflicted wound. Poor bastard.