Rogue backhoe driver flips ambulance and damages homes

Dan Abrams Live

VINELAND, N.J. (NewsNation Now) — Several videos captured a driver of a backhoe on a rampage in New Jersey, slamming into multiple homes, cars, police SUVs and even flipping an ambulance.

“One of the problems for us in law enforcement when you’re chasing a big vehicle like this: How do you stop it?” Retired Tulsa police Lt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin said on Wednesday’s “Dan Abrams Live.”

At one point during last month’s chase, the suspect smashed into a car with a driver inside. In one video, the driver tells police they “are in shock” and were heading to work when this happened.

“It’s a problem,” Larkin said. “You can’t do a PIT maneuver. You can’t put spike strips down.”

The rampage, which took place around 5 a.m., went on for about 30 minutes.

Officers eventually fired at the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Joshua Gonzalez.

“This is why it’s so important for the public, for the media, for other law enforcement officers to see the whole story … look at all the different videos,” Larkin said.

Gonzalez was hit, but his foot was on the gas pedal and the backhoe kept moving. It eventually stopped after knocking down a street light and getting tangled in a tree.

Officers gave Gonzalez CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“There is cellphone video, surveillance videos, body cam videos, of what happened on this,” Larkin said. “Because you look at it, it looks like this vehicle is just out doing property damage and officers use deadly force to stop it and in fact he’s chased occupied police cars, he’s hit an occupied vehicle, he’s crashing into houses where people are sleeping … this this guy needed to be stopped.”

Three officers suffered minor injuries. No one in any of the homes was hurt.

The State Attorney General’s Office is investigating.

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