Authorities say a lengthy search near Binghamton came to a conclusion shortly after a Broome County resident discovered a wanted man naked in a chicken coop.

According to New York State Police, 25-year-old John Mehne of Sarasota, Florida and Ithaca was being held after a bizarre saga that started with a car crash on Interstate 81.

An Audi that had been reported stolen in Florida was involved in the highway crash in the town of Kirkwood Tuesday morning.

The driver got out of the wrecked car and tried to jump on the back of a van as traffic slowed at the crash scene. He then hopped into the back of a pickup truck. After that, the man ran into a wooded area.

After police spent hours searching for the driver, a Duell road resident spotted Mehne in his chicken coop and asked him what he was doing. Mehne is said to have replied that he was "killing the chickens." He then picked up an ax and began chasing the homeowner.

After that, Mehne allegedly stole an ATV from the home and sped away. A short time later, a homeowner on Springer Road discovered the man naked in his chicken coop.

Mehne was located by searchers a short time later. He was bitten by a Binghamton police dog. He was treated at a hospital and then sent to Broome County Jail.

Investigators said Mehne burglarized one Kirkwood residence and killed someone's dog while police were searching for him.

Mehne was charged with burglary, robbery and criminal possession of stolen property. He also was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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