Charges Filed Against Man Accused of Using Backhoe Without Owner’s Permission
Court documents indicate the Marienville-based State Police filed criminal charges against 27-year-old Austin Garret McFarland, of Tidioute, on Wednesday, June 9.
According to a criminal complaint, a known victim contacted Marienville-based State Police around 4:20 p.m. on March 17 to report that Austin McFarland was using his 1995 Ford backhoe without his permission in the area of Fleming Hill Road, in Harmony Township, Forest County.
The victim told police that the backhoe had broken down in June of 2019 and after a few months, when he had still not repaired it, McFarland had taken it upon himself to fix the backhoe; however, he did not inform the victim that it had been fixed.
McFarland then used the backhoe to build a roadway in a wooded area near Fleming Hill Road and also used it to pull timber out of the woods and load it onto a trailer, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, McFarland also drove the backhoe on the roadway from a location on Fleming Hill Road to a location on Ferry Lane multiple times while his driver’s license was suspended, and then used the backhoe to clean up the remains of a burned-down house.
The victim told police he never gave McFarland permission to use the backhoe, and he took possession of it back from McFarland on March 16, 2021, the complaint notes.
The following charges were filed against McFarland through Judge Daniel L. Miller’s office on June 9:
– Unauthorized Use Motor/Other Vehicles, Misdemeanor 2
– Drive While Operator Privilege Suspended or Revoked, Summary
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on July 20, with Judge Miller presiding.
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