Drunk man detained after taking old Soviet tank for a spin through town

A 49-year-old man has been arrested in the Polish town of Pajęczno after taking a 60-year-old Soviet tank for a spin while under the influence of alcohol and without insurance or a licence to drive the vehicle.

Image: Polish police/Policja Pro

According to a police report, a man was detained on 13 June at 9:40pm local time after reports of a tank being driven through the streets.

Officers found a man standing next to the parked T55 tank, who was believed to have been a passenger in the vehicle, and shortly afterwards located the driver who they found to be drunk.

The driver spent the night in police custody where he was able to sober up. It has been reported by Polish media that the man could face up to eight years in prison.

According to authorities, the tank was being transported on a trailer which became damaged during its journey. The tank was moved out of the trailer so repairs could be carried out. The driver, for some reason, then decided to take the armoured vehicle for a trip around town.

T55 tanks first started being produced in 1958.

The man is not the first to have been inspired to take a tank of a spin while intoxicated.

In January last year, a drunk and “bored” Russian man was arrested after he allegedly stole an armoured vehicle and used it to carry out a ram raid on a supermarket – but he only stole one bottle of wine.

Russian news site hibinform.ru reported that a 29-year-old man stole an armoured vehicle from a military driving school in the north-west Russian town of Apatity.

He proceeded to drive away in the vehicle before taking a rather unorthodox route through the town, failing to properly negotiate a bend and destroying a car in the process. The man then drove straight into the front of a shop.

The man, who was believed to be drunk, climbed out of the hatch and then walked into the grocery store.

It is thought that he stole a bottle of wine from the store, and “it was with this very bottle that policemen detained him,” reported Hibinform.

Russian TV channel Vesti said the suspect was also “bored” which it cited as the reason why the man stole the tank.

And from drunks in charge of tanks to tanks being used to house the ‘tanked up’ – last year Irish bookmaker Paddy Power brought a mobile ‘drunk tank’ to Royal Ascot this week in a bid to “curtail the spate of booze-fuelled brawls at race meetings in the UK”. Paddy Power said it used wheelbarrows to transport drunken punters from Ascot’s streets, giving them time to sober up inside a 6×2 metre drunk tank mounted on a lorry.

And drinks-related tank news doesn’t stop there. In 2017, English wine estate Denbies discovered a rather more unusual element of its terroir in the shape of an old tank from the Second World War.

The long-buried vehicle was discovered in a vineyard where it was later put on display before being taken off to be restored.

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