51 Y.O. US Man Run Over By Bulldozer While Fleeing Police

A 51-year-old Pennsylvania man has died after being run over by a bulldozer while fleeing police. In a press release, state police said that Gregory Longenecker and a second man, 54-year-old David Brook Light, had fled into “thick underbrush” on state game lands in Berks County after local police were called to the scene on Monday last week. The police were called by a game commission employee who spotted a car parked in a field a large distance from the main road.

State police then used a helicopter and a commandeered bulldozer (driven by a state trooper who has since been placed on administrative duties while an internal investigation is undertaken) to attempt to find them. According to their statement, police in the helicopter briefly spotted Longenecker and then sent his last known position to the policeman in the bulldozer.

According to the Reading Eagle, police suspended the search between 1:30pm and 2pm in the afternoon, noticing Longenecker’s body behind the bulldozer as they did so. A preliminary autopsy showed that he had died of “traumatic injuries“.

Searching the area, police found just ten marijuana plants.

In a statement, executive director of marijuana advocacy group the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Erik Altieri slammed the police’s conduct:

This awful event could have and should have been prevented. This tragedy is a direct result of our nation’s draconic and failed criminalization of marijuana. Not only was the use of resources in this matter excessive and the tactics highly questionable, but more importantly a man lost his life over the act of growing a plant that is now legally regulated in a majority of US states. No matter your opinion on marijuana legalization, the penalty for growing cannabis should never be an extrajudicial death sentence.

Two states over in Massachusetts, it’s legal to grow up to twelve plants per household, as long the plants aren’t visible from the street.

State police public information officer David C Beohm said that police didn’t consider it a death during police pursuit because they were not pursuing him, as far as they were concerned.

Light, the second suspect, was charged with drug offences and trespassing.