Drunk Man Joyrides Through Town in WWII Military Tank, Immediately Gets Arrested

Following the arrest, it took police an entire day to find someone who knew how to drive a tank and could remove it off the streets.

Drunk Tank Driver in Poland June 2019 Hero2
Lodzka Policja

Either someone has been playing too much Grand Theft Auto or they felt like reenacting Pierce Brosnan in James Bond's GoldenEye, because police in the small town of Pajeczno in Poland recently arrested a man for going on a drunken joyride in a World War II-era Soviet T-55 tank

According to the official report, authorities responded to complaints about an odd rumbling through town late Thursday evening. Upon arriving at the scene, Lodzka Policja stumbled upon the giant war machine just sitting stationary in the middle of Mickiewicza Street, which according to reports is a major roadway. 

Police arrested two men at the scene, one of which was an intoxicated 49-year-old man who reportedly drove the tank through the town’s central district. After placing the two occupants under arrest, the police later learned that the man was authorized to drive the 36-ton leviathan, but only to switch trailers after the original one transporting the tank was damaged. Instead of sticking to the task, the man got sidetracked and took it for a spin on public roads.

Thankfully, nobody was injured during the incident, nor was anything destroyed.

The tank’s driver now faces two years imprisonment for driving under the influence and possibly faces an additional six years for “creating a dangerous situation.” He is also pending further charges. Further complicating the issue was the fact that tank had no insurance policy and police were unable to move the tank until they found another soldier capable of driving the tank nearly a full day after apprehending the original two occupants.

Naturally, because of the strange scene, citizens of the town took to social media to document the incident, making some comical historic references.

The Soviet T-55 tank originates from World War II but it wasn’t officially launched into the field until 1949. Since then, it served as the Soviet Union’s main series of heavy ground tanks. The T-55 and its series successors continued serving throughout the Cold War. The former Soviet and current Russian armies replaced it with newer series tanks, but some of the original T-55s are still deployed in nearly 50 other armies worldwide thanks to modern retrofitting. Original models are powered by a 38.8-liter “V-55” V-12 four-stroke diesel engine capable of 581 horsepower with some of the retrofitted versions producing up to 800 hp.