ASOTIN, WA - A 28-year-old Wisconsin man who allegedly injured a family member, crashed his car multiple times, and then stole an excavator was arrested early Saturday morning on a variety of charges. According to a Probable Cause Affidavit, Lucas Franklin was visiting family in Asotin late Friday night when he reportedly became angry for an unknown reason while he was sitting in his 2012 Ford Fusion, drinking alcohol and listening to music with a family member.
Franklin allegedly began driving recklessly on the property as the family member sat with the passenger door open and his legs outside of the car resulting in a minor injury to his legs as Franklin backed into a flower pot and pole. Court documents say he then reportedly took off down Asotin Creek Road with the family member remaining inside the car. He then crashed, hitting a deer and a guardrail.
The affidavit says Franklin drove back to the property and the family member was able to exit the car. Officials say Franklin then began driving his car up and down the driveway while blaring his music. He exited the car but left it in gear and it rolled into the back of a pickup, breaking a taillight, officials say.
When Asotin County Sheriff's deputies responded a short time later, the affidavit says they heard a revving engine coming from a neighboring property and were told it was Franklin. They went to the site and allegedly told Franklin to stop and talk to them but he entered his car and took off southbound on Asotin Creek Road. Law enforcement officials searched several areas but could not locate him.
At about 4:14 a.m., dispatchers received a call advising that an individual had discovered a Ford passenger car about 50 feet off the road near the intersection of Cloverland Road and Harlow Ridge Road. It had gone through a fence and struck a tree, court documents say.
While searching for the crash, deputies learned that an individual came upon an excavator being driven on Cloverland Road without lights. He pulled over and recognized the driver as Franklin and attempted to help him, but Franklin reportedly became "verbally aggressive" toward the man. The affidavit says that the individual also reportedly told deputies that while in the area he witnessed a gray SUV arrive, pick up Franklin, and then drive toward Asotin.
Deputies were able to locate that vehicle and initiated a traffic stop near milepost five (KM 8) on Cloverland Road. Franklin was taken into custody and booked into the Asotin County Jail at 5:30 a.m. on charges of Domestic Violence-Reckless Driving; Driving While License Suspended, 3rd Degree; Domestic Violence-Assault, 4th Degree; and Domestic Violence-Malicious Mischief, 3rd Degree.
The owner of the excavator was contacted and told deputies that a friend had located the equipment and returned it to its original location, which was about one mile from where Franklin had allegedly left it. It appeared there was no damage except for "it appeared Lucas had spit on the windshield," the affidavit says. The owner did not wish to file charges in the case.
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