Elmont (WALK) - The Elmont man accused of stealing a truck and welding gear from the MTA and then disrupting service to 6,200 LIPA customers this week says he was moved to mayhem by the IRS, according to court documents.
Joel Grasman, 51, of Kirkman Avenue, reportedly told police had received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service stating he owed $10,000, and he planned to steal and sell welding gear from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to pay the bill. Grasman is an electrician and a 24-year employee of the MTA.
After unloading the stolen welding gear at his home, Grassman drove away with the boom extended, striking trees, utility poles, wires and traffic signals, disrupting service to thousands of LIPA customers, Verizon clients, Cablevision subscribers in the communities of Elmont, Franklin Square and North Valley Stream. The damage is estimated at $3 million, according to Nassau prosecutors.
Grasman (photo) was arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead, and accused of several felony charges, including criminal possession of stolen property, reckless endangerment, criminal tampering, and criminal mischief. He is being held on $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.
Photo: Nassau County Police Department