Police Pursuit Ends When Suspect Stops to Order at McDonald’s

  • We can’t decide if this woman is incredibly stupid or has a ridiculous level of self-confidence.

Despite its issues, the prevalence of fast food restaurants can come pretty handy. For example, when you get pecking while driving long distances, you can usually find a quick bite without too many problems.

Of course, there are situations when you probably shouldn’t stop to order a burger with extra fries. Like when you’re in the middle of a police pursuit.

But that’s exactly what one Massachusetts woman did. Despite the cops being hot on her trail, the woman decided to stop at a local McDonald’s to order some food.

You can probably already guess how that worked out for her, can’t you?

That’s right, she got her food and made it off! Nah, just kidding. She got arrested on the spot.

Photo by Robert Couse-Baker (www.pxhere.com/en/photo/288543)


The Chase Begins

According to Worcester, MA, Police Department, the bizarre chase started around 8:45 a.m. on July 6. At that time, a local man called 911 to report a crime.

The man told the cops that our female protagonist – later identified as Johanna Gardell, 38 – had stolen a company pick-up truck he’d been driving. While the man was away from the truck, Gardell reportedly climbed in and drove off.

And that, children, is why you always lock the doors and take your keys with you when you leave your vehicle.

Anyway, back to the story. Lucky for the cops, the owner of the truck had installed a GPS tracker into the car just for this kind of an occasion.

The GPS showed that the truck was only some three miles away. On the way there, the cops met a driver whose car the stolen truck had collided with.

The police soon found the truck, with Gardell still in it. The responding officer flashed his blue lights, got out of the cruiser, and began approaching Gardell.

She, however, wasn’t about to be taken down without a fight. As the officer walked towards her, Gardell turned the key and drove off.

The chase was on.

Lane Hopping

After making his way back into his car, the officer began following Gardell. At first, the chase was fairly low speed.

However, Gardell showed had intention of stopping and gradually started picking up speed. She zoomed down Worcerster’s Main Street, running through several red lights.

The cop decided that the safety of the public was more important than immediately catching Gardell. He turned his siren off and stopped the chase for the time being.

Besides, the truck had a tracker in it, so it wasn’t like she was going to get away.

Although the cop behind her had given up the chase, Gardell still didn’t plan to stop. She sped along the Main Street until she encountered congested traffic.

The woman tried to get around the stopped cars by hopping over to incoming traffic’s lane. That went about as well as you’d expect and she collided with a van.

Three officers who happened to be present tried approaching Gardell to get her out of the truck. Still defiant, she backed up and hit the police cruiser that had stopped behind her.

While doing so, she also knocked down and dragged one of the officers before speeding off. The cops pursued her, but once again had to call off the chase for safety concerns.

Brought Down by a Burger

By now, Gardell must’ve felt that no cop could ever catch her. We’re just saying, why else would she suddenly have decided to pull into the drive-through of a nearby McDonald’s?

Maybe she just wanted to celebrate her supposed triumph with a Big Mac.

Unfortunately for her, she was pretty much trapped in the drive-through lane. When two new cop cars showed up, she made a desperate attempt at one more escape.

She intentionally rammed one of the police cruisers before trying to make it out of the McDonald’s parking lot by driving off-road. But that was too much for her banged-up truck and it got stuck in mulch.

The cops stormed the truck, and finally managed to drag the kicking and screaming Gardell out of the driver’s seat. She was handcuffed and placed under arrest.

Gardell has been charged with a hilarious list of offences 13 entries long. Her crimes include, but are not limited to, failure to stop for police, red light violation, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle), disturbing the peace, and operating a motor vehicle after suspension.

Yeah, she didn’t have a license.

At least the charges don’t include manslaughter or worse. The cop she ran over ended up in the hospital, but his injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.

Got to Make a Gas Stop

Gardell’s case isn’t the only police pursuit this year that included a weird stop. In February, a man suffering from mental illness and charged with two burglaries led the police on a chase that lasted nearly seven hours.

The cops and the man set off in southern Los Angeles before eventually ending up in Ontario. The chase was so long that at one point the cops had to make a stop to get more gas.

They got on the suspect’s trail again, though, and eventually forced him to stop with the help of a spike strip.

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