NEW YORK (MorichesDaily) – An MTA bucket truck has taken down several utility poles and trees in Elmont, leaving hundreds without power in Nassau County early Tuesday morning.
Police said that an MTA transit worker is accused of taking a crane truck from the Jamaica transit yard, stealing welding equipment and then knocking out power to an Elmont neighborhood on his way home.
According to police, Joel Grassman, of Elmont, was returning to his neighborhood when the boom on the truck went up, taking out power lines.
That is when officials say Grassman saw police following him and he fled.
Police say Grassman stole the MTA truck because he could not fit the stolen equipment in his own car.
The incident happened at around 3:45 a.m. near Corona Avenue and Blakeman Drive in Elmont.
Police are still questioning the suspect.
Numerous poles, wires, trees and even traffic lights were knocked down onto streets and cars on both sides of the street.
Officers say when they arrived on the scene, they found several utility poles and wires in the streets.
Witnesses say they saw the driver of the bucket truck driving up and down streets with the bucket extended — wires were wrapped around the boom, and debris filled the back of the bucket truck.
The cherry picker truck is a heavy-duty white Metropolitan Transportation Authority NYC Transit vehicle with a big swinging boom arm.
The truck that caused the widespread damage was surrounded by police cars, on the side of an exit ramp to the eastbound Southern State Parkway at Corona Avenue, Exit 15 on Tuesday morning.
Police say he fled the scene but police say he is now in police custody.
More than 6,000 people were left in the dark at the peak of the outages.
Areas affected by the power outage include Elmont and Franklin Square.
Police said one man was under arrest, but did not release his identity — or the charges against him.
The driver was being questioned by police.
Several residents said the neighborhood looked like a war zone, and that the damage was worse than that caused by Superstorm Sandy.