Kentucky man accused of stealing a bulldozer back in custody

COLUMBUS, Ind. — A Kentucky man accused of stealing a bulldozer and leading Columbus police on a shirtless predawn slow-speed chase on city streets last summer was arrested on a warrant after he repeatedly failed to appear for scheduled court dates.

Adam I. Jackson, 27, of Gray, Kentucky, was arrested by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department at the Knox County, Kentucky jail at 11:45 a.m. Friday. He was remanded to the Bartholomew County Jail in Columbus on Friday afternoon and remained held Monday in lieu of $30,000 bond.

Online court records show that Jackson had failed to appear by phone or by Zoom at either of two attorney status conferences that had been scheduled for August, and a warrant for his arrest was issued earlier this month. A warrant also had been issued last October after Jackson previously failed to appear in court.

Jackson was arrested on Aug. 28, 2021, after a Columbus police officer spotted Jackson driving a yellow John Deere bulldozer west on 17th Street around 4 a.m.

The officer pulled up behind the bulldozer and “observed the driver to be a white male with no shirt” who then “began hanging out of the windows and yelling something at me,” a probable cause affidavit states.

The 19,000-pound bulldozer had just been purchased by Case Construction and was valued at $186,000, according to court records.

Jackson drove the construction vehicle along 17th Street before disregarding a red light at the intersection of Central Avenue and proceeding south on Central Avenue, according to investigators.

The officer turned on his emergency lights and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Jackson refused, leading police on a slow-speed pursuit at around 5 mph that soon involved the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department’s armored vehicle, known as MRAP.

Jackson eventually surrendered without incident, telling officers he had simply been “joyriding.” Later at the jail, he attempted to persuade officers that he didn’t steal the bulldozer, stating, “I didn’t steal it, the keys were in it,” according to arrest records.