Drive thrus, though convenient, can also be enormously frustrating. Even though there is something indescribably satisfying about having someone hand you your food through a window, everyone has an individual horror story of an order gone wrong, or an accidental stall in front of several other hangry customers. However, we doubt that anyone has a tale to rival what allegedly took place in Australia last month.
Authorities report that a man has been arrested on a charge of blowing up his neighbour’s car, following what was described as a”relatively minor” and “benign” incident at a local McDonald’s drive thru. Multiple sources, including Fox News and The Guardian, state that 33-year-old Ryan Sharp, together with his 31-year-old partner, stalked and harassed a neighbourhood couple for six weeks, after they had honked at his partner whilst waiting for food.
The honk at the centre of the controversy allegedly took place after Sharp’s partner swerved in the drive thru, coming within a whisker of scraping the other vehicle. Although it seems incredibly unlikely that the beeping was the result of anything other than panic and irritation, Sharp, a resident of the Illawarra region, clearly felt that his neighbours were out of order, and decided to get revenge.
According to police, Sharp then embarked on a prolonged and almost lethal crusade of “grievance-fuelled violence”, culminating in the incident with the car. For six weeks, he and his partner sent threats and physically damaged property, including smashing windows and stalking the honking perpetrators whenever they got the chance.
After spending a seriously long time bothering the pair, Sharp ultimately decided to escalate. On March 5th, he detonated what has been described as a “sophisticated car bomb” underneath the pair’s Ford Rodeo, which exploded with enough force to kill someone if they had been in the vehicle, according to Detective Superintendent Michael McLean. When officials searched Sharp’s house, they also unearthed a drone, a baton and a pipe bomb.
Upon Sharp’s arrest, McLean told reporters that "The work done by this male to identify where the victim lived was quite ingenious and indicated a specific intent.” He went on to add that Sharp, “located the victims’ home, [and] we will allege, placed the device under the car where it ultimately exploded sometime later. [It was] certainly not something that would constitute behaviour which we’ve seen over the last month.”
The Guardian report that Sharp has now been charged with “two counts of using a carriage service to threaten serious harm, using a carriage service to threaten to kill, destroying or damaging property, placing an explosive on a vehicle with the intent to cause harm, threatening to cause injury to a person for being a witness and two counts of possessing or use of prohibited weapon without permit.” It also seems as though Sharp will remain behind bars, after electing not to apply for bail. His partner, who was also charged with “being an accessory to damaging property and stalking or intimidating,” has been granted “strict conditional bail” and is due in court on May 22nd.