Man explains theft of hearse from funeral

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)-  Why would anyone steal a hearse during a funeral at a church? A man who’s in jail for just that crime had a strange explanation to Buffalo Police.

On Michael Healing’s Facebook page, his profile picture appears to show him doing construction work. The 28-year-old from Niagara County appeared in City Court Thursday telling a judge he can afford his own attorney on charges related to stealing a 2009 Cadillac hearse.

You gotta help me…I’ve been running for days from everybody – Michael Healing

It was parked in front of St. Michael’s church while a funeral was going on inside. From the 9D3B3D11C8D6423BB6414CD9FC8793F5_5church on Washington Street, Buffalo Police say he took the hearse to his mother’s home in Tonawanda, then soon after, drove it to North Tonawanda where it was found parked the wrong way on Fredericka Street. Residents in that neighborhood tell me they’ve never heard of the guy and have no idea why the hearse ended up there.

In the police report, he’s quoted as telling a Lieutenant “You gotta help me…I’ve been running for days from everybody, you guys, David, everybody” When asked about David he said, “I’m trying to get him to the hearse. He know about the hearse. I told him the money is in there.”

He’s charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property. After being read his Miranda Rights, he told police, “I felt bad the funeral was in process. I looked to see if it had a coffin in it. I looked at some other cars, but the keys were in the hearse. I would’ve took a golf cart.”

The mother of Michael Healing did not want to comment other than to say, “I am very sorry to the family of the deceased for what happened.”

The family of the deceased issued a statement about the crime on Thursday, saying:

“We were shocked by the unimaginable incident, but it was a welcome shock. It broke our grief, turning it into knowing laughter. Our late son always brightened our lives with his colorful jokes and hearty laugh while alive, we couldn’t help but think he enjoyed a last laugh.”

The family also said they do not hold the funeral home responsible for the theft.

Healing is held at the Erie County Holding Center on $10,000 bail. He is due back in City Court on July 21.

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