Driver charged with causing $10K in damage to Home Depot displays

Published: Thursday, March 14 2013 7:40 p.m. MDT

RIVERDALE — A man caused an estimated $10,000 in damage in a wrecking spree at a Home Depot parking lot Wednesday morning, police said.

Dale Arave, 38, told police he had consumed 1/8 gallon of whiskey before crashing his large pickup truck through bushes, a light post, storage sheds and swing sets displayed in the parking lot at 99 W. Riverdale Road. The truck came to a stop when it slammed into a curb and became high-centered.

Riverdale Police Lt. James Ebert said officers had initially approached Arave as he was spinning out the tires on his truck, causing a large amount of smoke. When told to exit the vehicle, Arave made an obscene gesture to the officer and sped away, crashing into the displays, Ebert said. 

Arave, who "slurred his words and acted extremely impaired," refused to exit the truck and fought with officers when they attempted to remove him, according to the charges.

An officer deployed a Taser, but one of the prongs got caught in Arave's clothes, Ebert said.

After he saw the truck take out a stop sign, Home Depot shopper Brent Packer caught most of the incident in a cellphone video, which Ebert called "a great piece of evidence."

"I thought he had just swerved off the road to avoid an accident or something, and he then continued to peel out his tires and to drive over the curb and bushes and little trees," Packer said. "I decided to pull up a little closer next to the sheds, and that's when he kind of started to turn towards me."

Packer said that while he made eye contact at one point with the other driver, he never thought Arave would come for him. Nevertheless, he said his hands shook as he took the video, grateful no cars or pedestrians were hit.

"I could tell he wasn't stopping and calming down," Packer said. "He kept doing damage. That's why I thought, 'This could get interesting.'"

Two handguns and three rifles were found inside the vehicle — all loaded, Ebert said. Arave sustained a cut on his forehead but was otherwise uninjured. Family members told police Arave was experiencing personal difficulties and was despondent. 

Arave was charged Thursday in 2nd District Court with criminal mischief, a second-degree felony, failure to respond to an officer's signal, a third-degree felony, and interfering with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor. He was booked into the Weber County Jail.

Additional charges could be filed, depending on toxicology results, Ebert said.

Contributing: Devon Dolan, Peter Samore

E-mail: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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