Man charged with stealing dump truck says he was suicidal

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

The man charged with stealing a dump truck from a Port Jefferson Village lot and leading police on a pursuit told News 12 that he was “trying to commit suicide.”

Police say Bruno stole the truck around 2 p.m. Monday from the Port Jefferson Village Hall parking lot after discovering the keys inside. Bruno, according to police, drove the truck toward West Babylon. The truck was equipped with a GPS security system, allowing officers the ability to track the vehicle on the ground and with a police helicopter.

MORE: Police: Man led officers on chase in stolen dump truck 

Officers were able to stop Bruno along the service road of the Sunrise Highway near Hubbards Path in West Babylon about 40 minutes later. There, officers say he resisted arrest but was eventually placed in custody.

As Bruno was heading to court, News 12 asked him why he did it.

“I was trying to commit suicide,” he said. “I was trying to crash it or have the cops shoot me.”

He then said that he was “obviously depressed.”

NYIT criminal justice professor and former NYPD Deputy Inspector Andrew Costello says suicide by cop is always disturbing. He said he has never heard of somebody using a dump truck to get police to shoot him.

“More commonly, it’s someone pointing a firearm or weapon at a police officer,” said Costello.

Bruno was ordered held on $60,000 bond. A mental health examination was also ordered.

His next court appearance will be Friday.

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