MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A central Minnesota man is accused of damaging more than 100 vehicles by spreading nails on the road outside of his house to punish speeding drivers.
Joseph Kurimay, 75, faces one felony count of damage to property.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began last October, when a woman in Buffalo reported to police that a nail punctured her tire. When she brought her car to a repair shop, employees said they had seen many tires damaged by nails recently.
Police spoke to the shop employees, who said they had repaired dozens of flat tires with the exact same nail – 1.5 inch steel cap mason nails – in the past few months.
An officer went to the Menards in Buffalo to track purchases of that specific nail. Surveillance video and purchase records showed an older male purchasing the nails four times, in July, August, September and October.
Police tracked one of the purchases to a credit card in Kurimay's name. Outside Kurimay's home, an officer found one full nail in the road, as well as three partial pieces of nails.
Police searched Kurimay's home with a warrant. During the search, Kurimay said he did not know what a mason nail was, and said he had never bought or possessed any. He also told police he blamed the government for not solving the problems he had reported and that he "took the matter into his own hands out of frustration," the complaint states.
According to the criminal complaint, Kurimay reported speeding vehicles on Pulaski Road, outside his home, to police earlier in the year.
In Kurimay's garage, police found a mostly empty box of the masonry nails. Police also asked for Kurimay's ID, finding a credit card in his wallet matching the one used to purchase the masonry nails at Menards.
Several other car repair shops reported fixing tires damaged by the same nails. All totaled, police identified 115 victims and $22,630.03 in damage. Each victim stated they had traveled on Pulaski Road before the nail punctured their tire.
Kurimay was the only person to purchase the specific masonry nails in the months before the damage at the Menards in Buffalo.
If convicted, Kurimay could face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to Kurimay's criminal record, he has been ticketed for speeding several times.
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