Bulldozed House in Teralba, Australia, Sparks Attempted Murder Probe

by Alexander Smith /  / Updated 

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A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Australia Monday after allegedly driving a stolen bulldozer into a house where a woman and her two children were sleeping.

Four vehicles parked outside the home were crushed before the bulldozer was turned toward the building and razed it, New South Wales police said in a statement.

A neighbor was able to run inside and help a 56-year-old woman and her two daughters, aged 15 and 20, to escape the home before it was flattened.

The incident happened at 7:10 a.m. (5:10 p.m. ET Sunday) in the town of Teralba, a suburb of the eastern coastal city of Lake Macquarie. Police said the man knew the family. Australia's Seven News reported the mother and daughters were asleep at the time.

Before turning his attention on the house, the suspect briefly drove the vehicle towards a 29-year-old man who had been sleeping in a detached garage on the property, police said.

The construction vehicle was stolen from a nearby plant, according to authorities.

Officers with police dogs managed to use pepper spray to apprehend the man and stop the bulldozer.

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