Woman hits cops in police chase, arrested while stopping to order at McDonald’s drive-thru


One McDonald’s appears to be offering free iPhones to workers who stay on the staff for six months and meet additional “employment criteria.” (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

WORCESTER, Mass. (WTVO) — A woman led Massachusetts police on a wild chase that ended when she attempted to stop and order food at a McDonald’s drive-thru during the pursuit.

According to ABC News, around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, the Worcester Police Department received a 911 call about a stolen pickup truck. When officers arrived, the owner said a woman had climbed in the vehicle and drove away, but he had GPS to track the vehicle’s location.

Police said as officers went in pursuit of the stolen vehicle, they were flagged down by another driver who said their car had been hit by the pickup truck only minutes earlier.

Police identified the suspect at 38-year-old Johanna Gardell, who was located in the vehicle only a few blocks away.

“The officer activated his blue lights, got out of his cruiser, and approached the stolen vehicle,” the Worcester Police Department said in a statement. “The operator … drove away as the officer walked toward her. The officer got back into his cruiser and followed her at a low rate of speed, but she did not stop. Ms. Gardell began to increase her speed on Main St and drove through red lights. The officer deactivated his lights and sirens and stopped following her for safety reasons.”

As police followed, Gardell allegedly drove into oncoming traffic and crashed into a van.

“At this point, two officers working a detail and another officer in the area approached the vehicle in an attempt to extract Ms. Gardell,” the Worcester Police Department said. “She backed up the vehicle at a high rate of speed and struck a cruiser behind her, and knocked down and dragged one of the detail officers. Officers pursued the stolen vehicle at a low rate of speed before the pursuit was called off for safety reasons.”

Gardell then pulled into the drive-thru lane of a nearby McDonald’s to order food.

Police said they surrounded her vehicle at the drive-thru, but she struck one of the squad cars before leaving the road and getting stuck in a pile of mulch in the parking lot.

Officers said she fought and struggled with them as they pulled her out of the vehicle and arrested her.

Gardell is facing charges of Failure to Stop, Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injury, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Malicious Mischief to a Motor Vehicle, Disturbing the Peace, Disorderly Conduct, and Use of a Motor Vehicle Without Authority.

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