Man takes 15-ton joyride in stolen forklift

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ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – It was a bizarre morning in Enid during a pursuit of a man who stole a 15-ton forklift.

“This guy’s gonna hurt somebody,” says Enid resident Court Pierce on the phone with 911.

Pierce was frantic after he saw a forklift flying through the fence of an Enid construction site.

“The fence is out in the middle of the road. He just plowed through it. I’m actually behind him. I decided to turn and follow him,” he says to 911.

Tracking the lift through downtown streets, Pierce was driving a minivan. Others were heading to work, not knowing what was coming.

“He almost ran over me. The gentleman in the minivan was yelling at me to get away,” says Rachel Lebeda, who works nearby.

Police had trouble finding the forklift because it was weaving in and out of parking lots.

Pierce was still hot on its trail.

“Do you want me to subdue this guy?” He asked the 911 operator.

“On a Tuesday morning at seven o’clock, I don’t think the police department’s ready for a call that you know, there’s gonna be such a serious chase,” says Pierce.

A pursuit, but not a chase.

“It was very low speed pursuit, probably 10 to 15 miles per hour. Clearly, you can’t stop the vehicle. It’s like the size of a tank,” says Eric Holtzclaw, a lieutenant with Enid PD.

Dash cam video shows the slow pursuit, lasting only about 15 minutes before the forklift gave out.

Not caught on camera, the arrest of 23-year-old Garrett Anderson, who was allegedly high on drugs.

“I was really concerned about the citizens here in Enid. He luckily didn’t run over me, but what if he ran over someone else,” Lebeda said.

Pierce is grateful no one was hurt, but disappointed he couldn’t do more.

“I wish I had taken control of the forklift. I couldn’t have stopped him, but I could have gotten it out of the roadway,” Pierce said.

“He is a Good Samaritan for realizing that something was wrong. He not only looked out for myself, but he also looked out for my coworkers,” Lebeda said.

Before taking the forklift, police say Anderson broke into the construction site and shattered windows. Police also say there are dents and dings in the forklift, but no one was hurt.

Story by KFOR reporter Taylor Adams

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