Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A bad day on the 805

"San Diego Police and the California Highway Patrol chase a stolen military tank down Interstate 805. The tank was stolen from the National Guard Armory by Shawn T. Nelson, who led police through the streets of Linda Vista before entering the freeway. Nelson finally crashed the tank into the center divider of Southbound Highway 163 and was shot dead by San Diego Police."

Video of this :

Shawn Timothy Nelson, 35, a divorced, alcoholic, drug-taking plumber, had been watching his life crumble around him. He lost his job, his girlfriend left him, he broke his neck in an accident, and he had recently been evicted from his house. So He stole a 57-ton U.S. Military M-60 tank. On May 17, 1995, in San Diego, Nelson entered a National Guard Armory, started up the heavily armed tank, and headed out for the highway. Barreling through six miles of residential roads and with 20 police cruisers trailing helplessly behind, Nelson mashed 20 cars, flattened vans, knocked over telephone poles, and squashed a telephone booth and a bus bench.

Fortunately the tank's weapons -- a 105 mm cannon, 7.62 mm machine gun, and a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun -- were not loaded. Leaving behind a trail of destroyed vehicles, spouting hydrants, sideswiped bridges, and nail-biting insurance agents, Nelson's rampage finally came to a halt when his tank became immobilized astride a concrete highway divider. At that point, four police officers leaped onto the tank, opened the hatch with bolt cutters, and shot Nelson to death.

This tank was stolen from the Armory just a month after the Oklahoma City bombing.