Woman forced to watch ‘hysterically’ laughing man crush her pickup, Florida cops say

An argument over drug money took a violent turn in Florida when a cash-strapped woman was forced to watch a man crush her vehicle with an excavator, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened Sunday, Sept. 11, at a landscaping company in Englewood, and the victim reports the equipment operator was “laughing hysterically” as he “smashed and slammed” her pickup, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Englewood is about 90 miles south of Tampa.

The 36-year-old suspect — who works for the landscaping company — was arrested and faces a series of charges, including false imprisonment, officials said.

Investigators say the incident began as a “domestic dispute” over drug money and escalated to physical assault and property damage.

“Throughout the night of September 10, the suspect … drove the victim around to several gas stations throughout the North Port, Port Charlotte, and Englewood areas, all while (he) demanded the victim find money for drugs,” the sheriff’s office said.

“When the victim was unable to, (he) became increasingly agitated.”

The suspect abandoned the woman at a convenience store early Sept. 11, taking her pickup, phone and purse, officials said.

He then drove to his place of work, where the excavator was located, the sheriff’s office said.

“Once the victim returned to (his workplace), they witnessed Hamilton laughing hysterically and smashing the Chevrolet Silverado utilizing the bucket of the excavator,” the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators did not say who called authorities, but deputies arrested the suspect at the landscaping company and charged him with “criminal mischief more than $1,000 damage, domestic battery by strangulation and false imprisonment of a person against their will,” officials said.

“All types of crime can be linked back to addiction, including domestic battery. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please, reach out for help,” Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said in the release.

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