Dumb Plan to Pay Back IRS Bill Results in Arrest, Power Outage
All he wanted to do was pay back the IRS his outstanding $10,000 bill.
So explained New York City electrician Joel Grasman, who stole a 30-ton Mac Boom truck in the early morning hours of August 26 to transport several welding machines he also stole and planned to sell to come up with the money for his back taxes.
The 53-year-old man pilfered the machines and the truck from his job at the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Jamaica, Queens. He remembered to raise the boom when unloading the machines from the truck at his brother’s nearby garage, but forgot to lower it before leaving.
During his getaway, the truck’s boom tore down a dozen power lines in Elmont, Long Island, leaving 6,000 people without electricity and causing $2 million to $3 million in damage.
“I started driving and then I started to see sparks of light in the sky,” Grasman explained in his police statement. ”I finally realized that I had left the boom up. I started to swerve all over the road so I would not take down any more wires.”
His lawyer told the New York Post that he has bipolar disorder, and his actions were the result of a negative reaction to his medication.
He appeared in Nassau District Court in Hempstead, and was being held on a $100,000 bond.