DYER COUNTY, Tenn. -- A Dyer County man admitted to driving through a farmer's corn crop, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Allen Wiler told Dyer County Deputies it was an accident and something went wrong with the steering on his SUV.
But lawmen didn't buy his excuse and charged him with felony vandalism.
Wiler may be forced to make restitution, but the farmer said he is facing a setback.
It was easy to see the damage to part of a Dyer County cornfield off Peach Orchard Road.
The winding path wasn't created by a tractor, but Deputies said it was caused by a Jeep Cherokee driven by 25-year-old Wiler.
Deputies arrested Wiler on July 4th and charged him with felony vandalism.
"Approximately about five thousand dollars worth of damage," said Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box.
Sheriff Box said the farmer who owned the land called his department after he found the crushed corn stalks.
It didn't take long for investigators to find the muddy Jeep and its driver, about a mile away at a house on Bruceville Slab Road.
"And they observed a Jeep sitting there that had cornstalks under the bottom of it. And actually the tires on the vehicle matched the tire impressions that were left in the cornfield," said Sheriff Box.
Wiler admitted he drove through the corn, but not on purpose.
Sheriff Box said Wiler's excuse just didn't hold up.
"He actually stated that his vehicle had some type of malfunction and he ran off in there. But according to the damage, he'd driven all over the field. And it looked like he intentionally created that damage," said Dyer County Sheriff Box.
Wiler was released from jail on bond and so we went to his house for comment.
The woman who answered the door didn't want to talk and slammed the door.
Sheriff Box said he established the website www.DyerCountyFarmWatch to stop the high number of farm thefts and vandalism in the county.
He urged farmers to join the website.
He said it's a good way to protect their investment from thieves and vandals.
"And these guys work hard to put crops in the field. And there was a lot of damage to this corn and it can't be tolerated," said Box.
Wiler is scheduled to be back in court on July 20.