Bulldozer driven into building causes $1.5M in damage

Police say a bulldozer driven into a building caused about $1.5 million in damage

August 28, 2012 4:34:37 PM PDT
Police say more than $1 million in damage at a Humble business was caused by a disgruntled employee in a bulldozer. They say the angry man hopped in the bulldozer and went on a rampage at Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers near the Eastex Freeway and the Beltway.

The windows are shattered, the ceiling is collapsing and smack in the middle of the destruction, you can still see the bulldozer police say a worker used to destroy an office building.

"He turned right into the building," said Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers vice president Frank Wilson. "This is our registration area, came through, hit a couple of the beams."

Wilson gave us an up close look at the massive damage that police say employee Lynn Benson allegedly caused Monday night.

"This is an area at sale time that would be full of people, full of our staff," Wilson explained. "This happened about two hours after the facility closed, so there was nobody here, which is a good thing."

Investigators say Benson, 52, hopped into a D-6 bulldozer, smashed through a chain link fence, then barreled the dozer into the empty office building causing $1.5 million worth of damage.

"You know obviously he needs some help," Wilson said. "His family needs some help. Our staff and everybody is safe. So that was the biggest issue."

Benson has worked at Ritchie Brothers for 12 years. Wilson told me he has had a few talks with the worker recently, but never imagined anything would trigger this.

"At the end of a sale, everybody is pretty tired because of the long hours. Was he tired and a little beat up from the sale? Sure, but that's not abnormal," Wilson said.

Benson is facing charges of criminal mischief. Workers are waiting for insurance adjusters to come and assess the damage so they can rebuild.

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