Just after midnight on Tuesday morning, a worker for Buy New England Lobster left his truck idling in a Charlestown, Massachusetts loading dock while he ran to use the bathroom. But before he'd zipped up and washed his hands, a 29-year-old man allegedly jumped into the driver's seat and took off with the truck— and with the $10,000 worth of live lobsters whose crates had just been stacked in the back.
That led to a not-exactly-high-speed chase that involved three Buy New England workers, two refrigerated lobster trucks, and the Boston Police Department. The entire situation couldn't have been more Boston unless it also involved Ben Affleck, a chowder-stained Big Papi jersey, and that one Dropkick Murphys song playing over a loudspeaker.
The Boston Globe reports that the man whose bathroom break gave Stephen Woodard time to drive off with all those lobsters didn't hesitate at all. He got into his personal SUV and drove after Woodard, eventually getting close enough to get out of the vehicle and grab the truck's door handle.
The alleged thief didn't stop, so the man ran back to his SUV, and pulled out in front of the lobster truck. That's when Woodard drove right into him. Two other Buy New England workers had followed in a second refrigerated truck, and they rear-ended Woodard shortly after that first collision.
"I’m looking out the window and a gentleman with a hoodie is walking around the vehicle. I thought it was an employee that works with us,” one Buy New England worker told CBS Boston. "I didn’t want to tell the owner ‘Hey, listen, we lost the lobster.’ I wanted to know where the guy was heading at least [...] How far are you going to get at 2 in the morning with a truck full of lobsters?"
The Buy New England guys pulled a bloodied Woodard out of the truck and into the street. Shortly after officers arrived on the scene, he was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital to receive treatment for the facial injuries he sustained while behind the wheel.
Woodard continued to act out at the hospital, saying that he "works in Charlestown selling crack" and threatening to kill the arresting officers. "I’ll blow your brains out," he allegedly said. "I see that vest don’t protect your sides and stomach [...] make sure you have your [vest] plates in."
This isn't the first time that Woodard has made off with someone else's ride: In June 2010, he was being transported to the Charlestown District Court to face drug charges when he escaped from a Suffolk County sheriff’s van. He ran on foot before stealing a Department of Public Works vehicle and leading officers on a brief chase. Woodard ditched the vehicle and took off running again. Three days later, he surrendered to the cops at an apartment in Charlestown.
His arraignment for the lobster theft was scheduled for Wednesday morning, but the Boston Herald reports that he was "acting provocatively," so the judge shipped him straight to jail. He's facing a shiny new set of charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, driving with a suspended license, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, and threats to commit harm. His next court date has been scheduled for January 6.
Surely there's time for Ben Affleck to get involved between now and then.