Squash squashed by SUV in 'joy ride' will cost farmer more than $15,000

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wake County man is facing a charge of "injury to crops" after eyewitnesses say he took an SUV for a long joy ride in a farmer's squash field.

"He acted like he was drunk or something. He was out there yelling a screaming and using a few words. Just doing doughnuts and figure eights and stuff," Dale Sage told ABC11.

Sage owns the land on Bethany Church Road in eastern Wake County and leases it to farmer Sam Parker and his brother.

The 3-plus acre field was filled with yellow squash just days away from going to market.

Wake County Sheriff's deputies wrote in the arrest warrant for Justin Allmon of Zebulon that the damages exceed $15,000.

But Parker said it will cost him much more than that since the field's irrigation system was damaged and the crop is a total loss.

"The field is rendered unharvestable. In the climate that we live in now with food safety there's no way I could effectively harvest that field and ship it to your table." he said while supervising crews harvesting zucchini in a nearby field.

Sage said he was called out to his yard around 6 p.m. Sunday evening and couldn't believe what he was seeing.

The black Nissan SUV seemed like it would never stop.

"He'd go from one field to the next field then he went out onto the road and come back in the field," Sage said.

Sage says Allmon made no attempt to flee.

"He stopped out there and shut the car off and he started walking around picking up squash and throwing them in the car."

He also said Allmon was wearing an ankle monitor like the kind used for house arrest.

Parker said his brother who went to the scene told him the same thing.

"He had some county provided jewelry on his ankle," Parker said.

It's not clear why, although this latest arrest is the fifth time Allmon has been arrested in Wake County according to online records.

The most recent prior arrest was for possession of a firearm by a felon.

Sam Parker said that after all the hard work during this growing season, his family will have to take a hit because of someone's bad judgment.

"Farming is a tough job -- all the weather, markets, the food safety incidences," Parker said. "It's got its perils. But you really don't think about people going for a joy ride in your field."
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