Disgruntled Worker Lynn Benson Bulldozed His Office, Causing $1.5 Million In Damage, Police Say
After a particularly trying day at the office, an employee may fantasize about shredding the boss's paperwork or taking a baseball bat to his computer. But one disgruntled salesman in Houston actually plowed a bulldozer through the office where he had worked for 12 years, leaving an estimated $1.5 million path of destruction, police say.
Lynn Benson, 52, was arrested Monday evening, after allegedly driving a D-6 bulldozer through a chainlink fence and into the empty registration area of Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers, reports Houston TV station KTRK, shattering its windows and tearing out ceiling beams.
Benson's alleged rampage also broke a water line, reports the Houston Chronicle, flooding the company's ground floor. Ritchie Brothers is the world's largest buyer and seller of used heavy equipment, according to its website. The weapon that Benson purportedly chose was apparently equipment used by the lot inspector as part of his regular job, reports The Associated Press.
"You know, obviously he needs some help," Frank Wilson, the vice president of Ritchie Brothers, told KTRK. "His family needs some help. Our staff and everybody is safe. So that was the biggest issue."
Wilson said that nothing in Benson's behavior suggested that he was about to snap. ""At the end of a sale, everybody is pretty tired because of the long hours," he told the TV station. "Was he tired and a little beat up from the sale? Sure, but that's not abnormal."
Benson was arrested at the scene, and later charged with felony criminal mischief. The bulldozer still sits there, surrounded by rubble and covered in dust.
As AOL Jobs recently reported, some experts believe threats of workplace violence are on the rise with the difficult economy. According to official statistics, however, roughly two Americans are killed in their workplaces every day at the hands of co-workers -- a number that's been steady for the past two decades.
If the allegation against Benson is true, hurting his colleagues doesn't appear to have been his goal though; the bulldozer barreled through the office two hours after everyone else had gone home.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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