Thursday, August 18, 2016

bought a tank, got into trouble... stayed there, still there

New Richmond Ohio resident John Coyne. A self-described “Freedom Fighter for Individual Liberty”, Coyne is a polarizing figure in his community from the relatively minor offences of violating zoning ordinances and driving a tank on public roads, most of Coyne’s disputes with neighbors and law enforcement stemmed from his property which was a junk and salvage yard. According to Coyne, in 1965 he was arrested for possession of a machine gun.

 In response to this charge, he decided to up the ante and purchase a Sherman tank, which he kept on his property.

"In 1965 I was arrested for having a machine gun so I went out and bought this Sherman tank," he said. "Then Judge Ralph Hill told me I couldn't have this junk American tank on my own property and told me I had to go to jail or move my own tank off my own property.

 "To me, that's not America. That's Nazi Germany and I'm the victim of the Gestapo and I hope I've been able to put my message across to see so your viewers out there see me as a victim of the Gestapo and not a Nazi."

 The local judge told Coyle that the tank was junk and violated local ordnances. Coyne went to jail for nearly six months until the judge finally accepted his argument that the tank was a historic vehicle and not “junk.”

Cincinnati police arrested Coyne for driving his tank on city streets, citing an ordinance that said only vehicles with pneumatic tires were allowed. He took his case to the District of Ohio Court of Appeals and the court ruled the ordinance unconstitutional. (of course that is bullshit, any historical solid rubber pre 1915 truck would never be harassed by cops, nor would horse carriages)

 Coyne gained local notoriety for his rather outspoken criticisms of local authorities, including writing messages on his Sherman tank and his WWII era half track denouncing them as “the Southwestern Ohio Gestapo.”

(Be careful of audio level, old bad audio on this clip)

His Sherman tank was used in the Blues Brothers movie, and when his wife divorced him, the tank, and everything else, was auctioned off to pay the legal costs (never get married, divorces are ridiculously prohibitively expensive). The tank auctioned for 23 thou

He was also sent to prison in 1981 for shooting 3 young men trespassing and stealing from his junkyard, because they were in the process of running away (but cops like Micheal Slager who shot Walter Scott in the back are still not in jail)

but after getting out of prison, he is still full of piss and vinegar and not taking any shit from the cops about the big tank hauling truck he brought to a car cruise at a local restaurant

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