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Rototiller ‘test drive’ ends with charges

Published 9:13am Friday, August 29, 2014

A city man was arrested on theft and public intoxication charges after an Elizabethton Police Department officer said he found him trying to remove property from a city business after it had closed.
EPD officer Joe Holsclaw was dispatched to Tractor Supply at 210 Cherokee Park Drive late Wednesday night to answer a burglar alarm. Holsclaw wrote in his report that when he arrived, he was told a man in a yellow hoodie was seen running from the store.
Holsclaw said he checked the area and found a man, identified as Daniel Lee Hyder, 25, 409 East Cottage Ave., Elizabethton, trying to push a rototiller up the grassy bank behind the store. Holsclaw wrote in the arrest report that Hyder smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot and glassy eyes.
“When asked why he was pushing the rototiller, he stated he was just ‘test driving the mower that he did not commit grand theft auto’,” Holsclaw said, continuing, “The subject was read his rights and continued talking almost uncontrollably, stating he was only borrowing the mower to mow his neighbor’s grass, and when told he had a rototiller he stated that he was borrowing it to level his yard because he had a bad problem with gophers.”
Holsclaw said a further search of the area found that two rubber wheel chocks and the security cable had been removed with the rototiller. Holsclaw also said he found four bags of topsoil in the cemetery beside Tractor Supply and a Cub Cadet push mower behind Krystal’s across the street from Tractor Supply.
Holsclaw wrote in the report that the property was photographed where it was found and returned to the store. Holsclaw said he found a brown wallet containing $2,700 in cash, an electronic benefits card, a debit card and a military ID with Hyder’s information on them near the entrance.
Hyder was arrested and charged with theft/possession of stolen property and public intoxication. He was transported to the Carter County Detention Center and is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on Oct. 20.

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