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Man uses tank in phone mast flattening rampage

Mad Max meets Convoy

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An Aussie bloke went on a phone mast destroying spree yesterday, on the grounds that his health had been damaged by mobile phone signals.

According to the Times, John Patterson - who previously worked at Australia's biggest telecoms firm, Telstra - used a 15-tonne armoured personnel carrier (APC) to bring down seven phone towers.

A convoy of more than 20 police cars and onlookers, some of whom egged him on, followed Patterson across western suburbs of Sydney.

He had earlier taken the APC from its owner's tow company. The heavy vehicle resembles a tracked tank and even boasts its own replica cannon for added faux-military appeal.

His rampage led to several parts of Sydney being temporarily left without a mobile signal.

Police said they had no option but to simply follow the vehicle as the rampage continued because they had no way of overpowering the APC and bringing it to a halt.

At one dramatic point, 45-year-old Patterson rammed a police car after officers had tried to prevent him from moving on.

But his criminal spree abruptly came to an end at 4am when the APC stalled as he tried to flatten his seventh mobile phone tower in Dean Park.

He was restrained with pepper spray, arrested, and led away.

A magistrate refused to grant bail to Patterson who has been charged with stealing, predatory driving, and driving in a dangerous manner. ®

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