GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Kiln man will spend 15 years in prison for stealing a John Deere front end loader, then treating a public parking lot like his own private demolition derby. The chaotic scene happened on the morning of April 8, 2018 at the Super Walmart on Hwy 49 in Gulfport.
This week, Shaun Michael Stroud pleaded guilty to charges of Aggravated Assault, Grand Larceny, and Malicious Mischief. The judge in the case then sentenced him to 40 years, suspending 25, leaving him 15 to serve behind bars. He also ordered Stroud to pay more than $41,000 in restitution.
According to investigators, Stroud stole the front end loader from Gulf Recycling, crashed through the gate at Gulf Recycling, and drove it down Creosote Road. When he reached the Walmart parking lot, he struck a trailer located near the store’s Garden Center, then continued on to the front parking lot. He then crashed the loader into an occupied Dodge Durango and an occupied Dodge Charger.
When officers arrived, they tried to stop him, but Stroud managed to hit two more vehicles and ran over a large palm tree before coming to a stop from a flat tire.
Stroud told the court he had taken some “pretty bad drugs” right before the trouble unfolded, and he thought he was being chased and that the world was ending.
“This is once again a reminder how illegal drugs in our community not only impacts the person who uses them, but also puts property and lives in danger. Thankfully, the quick response of the Gulfport Police Department limited the damage that morning,” said District Attorney Joel Smith.