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Dammit NewRider, get it together man!!!


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Meth addict pleads guilty in ‘high-damage’ tractor chase

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KITCHENER — A man who led police on a destructive chase aboard a stolen tractor pleaded guilty Monday to dangerous driving and several other offences.

Newrider admitted making the misguided attempt to escape while high on crystal methamphetamine and trying to get back home to the Mildmay area.

“It was low-speed, but high-damage,†Crown prosecutor Mike Murdoch said of the June 5 pursuit through cornfields, fences and a river in Woolwich and Wellesley townships.

The guilty pleas were expected after Newrider apologized to farmers and blamed meth addiction for his bizarre bid for freedom at an earlier appearance in Kitchener court.

“I feel bad, very bad,†he said then. “I know I screwed up. It’s not right, you know what I mean?â€

Newrider was walking back to his Kitchener motel from a party in West Montrose when he came upon the $90,000 rig — a New Holland cab tractor with a front-end loader — with the keys in the ignition.

He drove it to the Breslau area, parked it there and walked to his room. Later the same day, he checked out of the motel, returned to the tractor and set off for Mildmay.

Suspicious police tried to stop him in Elmira at about 8:30 p.m., but Newrider ignored their flashing lights and the pursuit was on at a top speed of 40 km/h.

It lasted for several kilometres on roads and farm fields as Newrider weaved back and forth, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage to crops, fences and the police cruiser trying to keep up.

Newrider eventually abandoned the tractor near a stand of trees and took off on foot, but was arrested at about 10:15 p.m.

At least two surprised bystanders took videos of the chase and posted them on YouTube.

Found on Newrider was a gram of crystal methamphetamine, the powerful drug he said he has been hooked on for about five years.

“The driving force in the whole thing is drugs and alcohol,†defence lawyer Harold Cox said.

In addition to dangerous driving, Newrider pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000, failing to stop for police and possession of meth. He is scheduled for sentencing in October.

Dressed in shorts and construction boots, he said outside court he is now working part-time as a handyman and doing “a lot better†as he tries to beat his addiction.

;)

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