A New Jersey resident is looking at 30 years in prison after intentionally ramming his car through a police station while playing “Welcome to the Jungle” on the radio.
The incident was actually the second building that the man deliberately drove his SUV through on the same day, the first was a woman’s home in an act of revenge minutes earlier.
John Hargreaves, 34, crashed his vehicle into the garage door of a residence in Liberty Township, New Jersey.
Prosecutors stated that Hargreaves targeted the homeowner, because he believed that she had hypnotized him and wasn’t happy about it.
Welcome to the Jungle: We’ve Got Handcuffs
Soon after barreling through the home, Hargreaves drove his car straight into the Independence Township police headquarters, while blaring Guns N’ Roses’ iconic song “Welcome to the Jungle.”
As officers apprehended Hargreaves, he exited the vehicle with his hands raised, but seemed to be celebrating his actions with the song, which was the hit single off of the band’s 1987 debut record “Appetite For Destruction.”
Warren County Prosecutor Jim Pfeiffer said that Hargreaves harbored resentment about how the alleged hypnosis had been handled by the victim, though it reportedly took place last year, and sought to make her pay.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported in either of the intentional attacks, although one officer almost got ran over inside the department.
“I thought maybe somebody just accidentally put their foot on the gas instead of the brake,” said Lt. Chris Prell.
He noted that the department was “lucky” that nobody was hurt during the crash.
“We’re talking probably a matter of seconds where he could have killed a police officer…just by the grace of God, he was not there at the time,” Pfeiffer remarked.
Hargreaves now faces multiple charges, including burglary, criminal mischief, and a weapons count for both incidents.
He is also accused of terrorism, aggravated assault, and causing widespread injury or damage resulting from the police station crash. The most severe charge carries a potential prison sentence of 30 years.
The Meaning Behind Welcome To The Jungle
“Welcome to the Jungle” was initially written from a riff played by guitarist Slash on an acoustic guitar, was later developed into a full song with the help of bassist Duff McKagan, who incorporated elements from a previous composition.
The lyrics and title of the song were contributed by vocalist Axl Rose, drawing inspiration from his personal experience of moving to Hollywood in 1982.
The track reflects the theme of leaving a small town behind and embarking on a new life in Hollywood, exploring the vibrant and indulgent lifestyle associated with the city.
Former Guns N’ Roses rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin described the song as a depiction of the true essence of Hollywood streets.
The song’s inspiration came from a chance encounter Rose had with a homeless man when he and a friend were stepping off a bus in New York.
The man shouted, “You know where you are? You’re in the jungle baby. You’re gonna die.” This remark left a lasting impression on Rose and eventually found its way into the song.
“It was a very telling lyric—just the stark honesty of it,” Slash remarked. “If you lived in Los Angeles, and lived in the trenches, so to speak, you could relate to it. And knowing Axl, I could relate to exactly where it was coming from.”