Twelve hours after Radcliff police say a Minnesota man snapped multiple utility poles on and off South Wilson Road, he was under arrest.
Radcliff Police Capt. Willie Wells said the assistance of area residents through social media posts led police to the whereabouts of Gerard Abbott, 43, of Harris, Minnesota, Still shots from video cameras in the area were posted on various Facebook accounts to aid the search.
Wells said Abbott was found in Howardstown in Nelson County and arrested at 12:19 a.m.
“It’s good to have the eyes and ears of the public to help us out,” Wells said.
Radcliff city government and the police department posted photographs of a flatbed truck with an oversized load, which authorities say Abbott was driving around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday. It struck a utility pole while attempting to make a left-hand turn from South Wilson Road onto Hibbs Lane.
Abbott is employed by Outlaw Specialized LLC of Rush City, Minnesota.
According to an arrest citation, Abbott continued to drive, breaking the utility pole in half and causing three other utility poles to snap, breaking lines for power, cable and phone. The outage caused various issues, including traffic problems on multiple streets and thousands of dollars of damage.
Abbott, escorted by two vehicles, drove a short distance and stopped to inspect the damage, according to the arrest report. The men pulled debris from the flatbed, threw it to the side of the road and left without notifying anyone of the damage.
Kentucky Utilities and Spectrum Cable repaired the poles and the lines over several hours Tuesday. The damage is estimated to be more than $4,000, according to the arrest report.
“It was a mess,” Wells said.
Abbott was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison, if convicted, and failure to notify owner of unattended vehicle damage, a violation.
Abbott was booked into the Hardin County Detention Center on a $4,000 unsecured bond. He was released from jail Wednesday morning.
He is scheduled to appear Jan. 17 in Hardin District Court.
Wells said the case remains an open investigation and additional charges for those involved are possible.