According to Worcester police, a Massachusetts woman was taken into custody after she pulled over to order food at McDonald’s while driving a stolen car.
The Worcester Police Department responded to a call reporting a stolen vehicle by a man who said he saw an unknown woman get into his truck and drive away, police said in a press release.The Worcester Police Department responded in person to a report of a vehicle stolen by a man. He said that he saw a woman drive off from his truck, police stated in a press release.
According to police, the GPS tracking of the vehicle’s owner allowed him to give police a rough estimate of its location. Police began to pursue a driver who had his vehicle struck by the truck.
The suspect was eventually identified as Johanna Gardell, 38, and she fled the scene when police approached her. Gardell fled and police chased her, but she was stopped by police for safety reasons. Gardell had been driving down a main road, through many red lights, police stated.
Gardell was stuck in traffic and began driving in an unsafe lane to get around other vehicles. Gardell, according to police, drove at high speeds behind the truck and struck another car, knocking down one officer and then dragging the other. According to police, the officer struck was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Gardell drove off, and police followed her. However, they stopped following Gardell when it was determined that Gardell was a safety threat.
Police finally caught Gardell after she pulled up to a McDonald’s drive-thru in order to order food. Police said that Gardell allegedly hit their car when two additional officers found her at the drive-thru. They were not hurt.
Finally, Worcester police were able to remove Gardell from the truck despite Gardell’s “fighting and struggling,” police stated.
The woman was taken into custody on the spot and is facing a variety of charges, including failing to stop police, leaving an accident scene, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace.
Gardell’s attorney is not known. She was unable to be reached for comment.