A 27-year-old man hopped on a giant piece of stolen construction equipment late at night and drove it on a Duluth sidewalk, prompting a no-brainer traffic stop by a state trooper.
And the story a suspected drunken Dustin L. Lunde told the trooper at 3:30 a.m. on a weeknight for why he was at the controls of the 18-ton behemoth?
“He initially claimed he was just taking it from one job site to another,” Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said Friday.
Lunde, of Proctor, Minn., was charged with motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and second-degree drunken driving in connection with his night of heavy drinking before commanding the heavy equipment in the wee hours of March 9.
Duluth police say Lunde took the excavator from a construction site near Interstate 35 and Mesaba Avenue.
The trooper stopped the slow-rolling equipment near where Superior and Michigan Streets merge, just south of downtown, ending Lunde’s jaunt after a half-mile.
Lunde’s blood alcohol level was found to be above 0.16, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota. Lunde’s criminal history includes a drunken driving conviction in 2010.
Another Proctor imbiber, Dennis Leroy Anderson, pleaded guilty in 2009 to drunken driving after he was arrested riding a motorized recliner chair from a bar in his hometown.