The WikiLeaks truck that graced the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park for most of its duration got lost last week when New York Police impounded it, and now that it's been found in a police impound lot, it's not in great shape. "It has two parking tickets on it, and the battery's dead, " an aggravated-sounding Clark Stoeckly, the truck's 29-year-old owner, said over the phone on Wednesday afternoon. Police eventually gave Stoeckly a jump that got him on the road, but not before they threatened to arrest him for videotaping them in the impound lot (more on that later). The whole thing sounds contentious, except for Stoeckly's guardian angel: A sympathetic judge.
The truck, a modified U-Haul that sports giant decals reading "WikiLeaks Mobile Collection Unit" and "Top Secret" was parked adjacent to Zuccotti Park since Occupy Wall Street started. Stoeckly says he has no connection to WikiLeaks, but he supports its mission. The truck's been missing since Stoeckly got arrested while driving it last Thursday during the big Occupy Wall Street protest. Stoeckly said police stopped him on Broadway near Zuccotti Park because his license plate was "askew" and asked to search his vehicle. When he wouldn't consent to the search, he said, they arrested him for obstructing government administration and held him until Friday night. "Basically, I got out Friday evening, I wasn’t able to pick up my keys until Monday morning," and by that point the truck was nowhere to be found," Stoeckly said. His arresting officer, he said, had given him a piece of scratch paper with the name and number of Mike's Towing, in Brooklyn, telling him that's where the truck was. "Come to find out that Mike’s Towing has never received the truck at any point. So yeah. It went missing."