Minnesota Man Arrested After Spreading Nails on Road to 'Punish' Speeding Drivers

Because vigilante justice always works out.

Buffalo Police Department

There are many schools of thought on how best to enforce speed limits. Unfortunately for one man in Minnesota, none of them hold that spreading nails on the road outside your house to randomly punish speeding drivers is a good idea—and now authorities have charged him for damaging 115 vehicles in a months-long vigilante spree, WCCO News reports.

Speeders can be a real menace, but the world will never know whether 75-year-old Joseph Kurimay nailed anyone who was actually breaking the law since he began his crusade sometime last year. For months, drivers in Buffalo, Minnesota would show up at area tire shops with the same type of 1.5-inch steel-capped masonry nail embedded in the flattened rubber and no way to prove where it came from.

It was seemingly the perfect crime. But in October, things began to unravel for Kurimay. It started when his latest victim grew suspicious and called police after a garage employee mentioned that "dozens" of other cars had struck identical nails recently. The Buffalo Police Department investigated and eventually matched surveillance footage and credit card information from the local Menard's home improvement store that showed him purchasing boxes of the nails in question on four separate occasions.

According to WCCO, officers who went to Kurimay's address to question him found a nail and "three partial pieces of nails" in the road outside his house. Having got their answers, police returned with a warrant to search his property. At first, Kurimay pled ignorance, arguing that he'd never heard of a masonry nail. A solid defense, undercut only by the "mostly empty" box of nails officers found in his garage.

Other evidence working against him: Officers also found the credit card used to buy his tools of destruction at Menard's, where he was the only person to purchase those specific nails during the time in question. Additionally, every car he struck—all 115, causing over $22,600 in damage—had driven down his street.

At that point, Kurimay changed his tune and blamed the whole thing on the government's inaction, saying that he'd been forced to "[take] the matter into his own hands." What matter, you ask? Apparently, he had complained to authorities about drivers speeding past his house before he started his campaign. Hopefully it was worth it, because he's facing up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for his troubles. 

Ironically, and perhaps unsurprisingly, WCCO notes that Kurimay himself has received several speeding tickets.

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