Man arrested, goes to court after rampage in armored vehicle

Man arrested, goes to court after rampage in armored vehicle

MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) -- A man appeared in court in Sydney on Saturday after taking an armored personnel carrier on a rampage through the city's western suburbs in which he destroyed six mobile phone towers, Australian media reported.

A man appeared in court in Sydney on Saturday after taking an armored personnel carrier on a rampage through the city's western suburbs in which he destroyed six mobile phone towers, Australian media reported.

Couldnt he find any speed cameras aswell (Do they have them over there :? )
Am I being blind or is that a 432?
a mk1 by the look of the NBC pack, could even be a petrol number.
What's with the turret. Is it an Aussie mod or is it just mocked up to look like a 113.
big_bad_bill said:
What's with the turret. Is it an Aussie mod or is it just mocked up to look like a 113.
If that's a 113 it's a heavily modified one. No christy chassis, it's got supported suspension, the turret on top looks mocked up, and the front slope angle is too slight for a 113.

My vehicle ID ability is a bit rusty, but it does indeed look like an FV430 with some sort of mock turret on it.
yep, it's a ex-British Army carrier with a mock turret.,23599,22073903-2,00.html

Tank driver 'had beef' with phone towers
By Brenden Hills and Ellen Connolly
July 15, 2007 01:00am

A FORMER Telstra worker allegedly stole a tank and used it to demolish six mobile phone towers as he led police on a wild two-hour rampage through western Sydney yesterday.

More than 20 police chased the tank but were powerless to stop it, retreating to a safe distance as the huge vehicle cut a path of destruction through six suburbs.

They could only watch as the driver, hanging out of the top at times, allegedly rammed the tank through fences and into six mobile phone towers, telecommunication relay sheds and an electrical substation.

The damage caused major disruptions to mobile phone services in Sydney's west yesterday.

The divorced father allegedly stole the 1967 Trojan armoured personnel carrier (APC) from his former workplace, A One Lift Truck Service, at Minchinbury.

His former boss, Greg Morris, said the man had a beef with mobile phone towers.

"He used to work for Telstra and told us he was going through a medical claim for his head injury. He said something about the radiation from the towers had caused it," Mr Morris said.

"He actually worked on the tank he stole, doing a lot of wiring and putting the engine in."

The drama began at 2am when the ex-British Army tank - complete with steel tracks and replica gun turret - was taken from a holding shed and headed straight for its first target: an electricity substation at Michinbury.

The tank then allegedly rammed a police car as it drove from the Mount Druitt Hospital car park.

At its maximum speed of 52km/h per hour, it continued on through the suburbs of Mount Druitt, Dharruk, Emerton, Glendenning and Plumpton with 10 police vehicles in pursuit.

Several times police were forced to retreat when the driver allegedly swung the tank towards them.
He taunted police by leaning his head out the side window to wave at them.

The joyride ended at 4am when the vehicle stalled as the driver attempted to destroy a seventh mobile phone tower.

Police used capsicum spray to subdue the man, who was dragged head first from the tank by officers.

Mr Morris said he bought the tank from the British military.

He restored the vehicle, which is valued at $1 million, and he hires it out for weddings and for motor shows.

A colleague who would not be named said the man who stole the tank had a "vendetta" against phone towers.

"He told us he'd worked for a government agency where he had to work around the towers and got radiation poisoning."

"So he planned out a map of where the towers were that he wanted to destroy."

Mr Morris said he was "devastated" at the news.

'I can't believe it."

Mr Morris described the man responsible for the carnage as a "quiet, well spoken" man.

He left in December but Mr Morris saw him often.

"We were mates, he'd call in for a chat and a few beers."

"The problem he's got is not with us. It's just that it's the tool he needed to do it."

The chase attracted a lot of attention with drivers following the tank.

"It's not something you see in Mount Druitt every day," William Errington, 26, said.

Another local resident expressed similar disbelief after being woken up by her partner to chase the tank.

"Mick said we were going to follow a tank and I thought yeah a fuel tanker. Then the thing drove past us," said Oakhurst resident "Ally".

Mount Druitt Chief Inspector Guy Habberly said the man had not been drinking and did not appear to be affected by drugs.

Yesterday John Robert Patterson, 45, of Dharruk, appeared in Parramatta Court charged with stealing the tank, dangerous driving and malicious damage.

He did not enter a plea or apply for bail and he was remanded to appear in Penrith Court tomorrow.

His defence lawyer Ivan Bertoia told the court that in a police interview his client "suggested he had the authority to behave in such a manner".

Magistrate Terry Forbes said there was a strong case to be made for the case to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act.
Rampage puts tank's owner right off track
Jordan Baker Chief Police Reporter
July 17, 2007

IT WAS a rough night for Greg Morris. In the space of a few hours, the two former British army vehicles he spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars restoring were consigned to the maintenance shed - and one will be there for a very long time.

When Mr Morris's black 1967 armoured personnel carrier was stolen and used in a rampage across western Sydney on Saturday, its 1963 companion - painted a festive orange - was damaged as well.

Mr Morris estimated it would cost up to $60,000 to fix both vehicles, especially as they were fitted with leather seats, mini-bars and plasma televisions so they could be hired out for weddings, formals and truck shows.

Neither was insured. "I didn't think anyone would steal them," he told the Herald.

Mr Morris's former employee, John Robert Patterson, 35, of Dharruk, is accused of taking the personnel carrier and using it to ram fences and seven mobile phone towers during a wild police chase through western Sydney. Patterson did not apply for bail in Penrith Court yesterday. He faces 15 charges, including one of "predatory driving", several of causing malicious damage and one of driving a vehicle with intent to cause actual bodily harm. Court documents allege that he damaged the orange tank while he was taking the personnel carrier, but did not explain how.

Mr Morris said Patterson used to work for Telstra and held a grudge against the company.

Telstra property, a Hutchinson Communications shed and an Optus mobile phone antenna, were damaged in the rampage.

The shell of the 44-year-old orange tank cost $5000, but hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent restoring it. The personnel carrier is thought to have been used by the British in the 1991 Gulf War.

Patterson helped with the personnel carrier's refurbishment, and was one of only three people who knew the sequence required to start it, Mr Morris said.

The vehicles were now worth about $1 million each, he said. Damage to the phone towers was estimated in the millions.

Repairs to the orange tank would hopefully be finished in time for an appearance on The Footy Show this week, Mr Morris said. Damage to the armoured personnel carrier is far more severe, and it may not see a bridal party for more than a year.

"Things are upside down inside it," he said. "It's all falling out because it climbed up poles and everything."

The vehicles have huge sentimental significance to Mr Morris, not least because the orange tank last year jumped six cars at the Fairfield Showground and crushed several more at a show in Gosford. They are also used for children's entertainment.

Patterson is due to reappear in court on September 28.
"top speed of 52 mph"jings crivvens and help ma boab. was that down hill.

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