Man suspected of stealing skid loader, DUI

Monday, October 7, 2013 | 4:17 p.m. CDT; updated 6:28 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 7, 2013

COLUMBIA — Police arrested a Columbia man on suspicion of stealing a skid loader from a construction site and taking it on a drunken ride through downtown Friday morning.

Shortly after midnight, a witness followed a man through downtown Columbia who was driving a skid loader, a piece of construction equipment that is similar to a bulldozer.

The machine is believed to have been taken from a construction site at 400 S. Ninth St., according to Officer Latisha Stroer, a Columbia police spokeswoman. After taking the vehicle down Ninth Street, the man parked it in the Hitt Street Garage, police said.

Police arrested James Fernau, 21, in the garage on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and for tampering with the construction equipment.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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