Woman stops for fast food during police chase, gets arrested

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The Hamburglar would not be impressed.

A Massachusetts woman stopped at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the middle of a wild police chase — and went from the Golden Arches to silver handcuffs, police said.

Johanna Gardell, 38, stole a commercial pickup truck Tuesday morning and took Worcester police on a wild chase — during which she hit and dragged an officer and crashed into a couple of police cruisers, a press release stated.

“She was ordering chicken nuggets and they actually held her up,” the truck’s owner Raymond James Simoncini told Boston.com. “The officers called ahead to hold her and slow down the line.”

She is now facing a super-size list of traffic violations and criminal charges including assault and battery.

Gardell apparently had hopped into a pickup truck used for Simoncini’s restoration company near Lake Avenue at just before 9 a.m. and drove away, police and reports. By the time police caught up with her using Simoncini’s GPS to track down the truck, Gardell had already hit another vehicle, police said.

An officer approached the truck on foot, but Gardell drove away, the Worcester Police Department said in a press release.

“The officer got back into his cruiser and followed her at a low rate of speed, but she did not stop,” the release stated.

Gardell sped up and went through red lights, prompting police to back off.

“The officer deactivated his lights and sirens and stopped following her for safety reasons,” the release said.

When she hit traffic on Main Street, she went around stopped cars and hit a van in the oncoming lane, police said.

“At this point, two officers working a detail and another officer in the area approached the vehicle in an attempt to extract Ms. Gardell,” Worcester police 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.”

The officer, who wasn’t identified, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital, according to authorities.

A video obtained by CBS Boston shows the truck barreling through a construction site close to workers who try unsuccessfully to stop her.

Cops finally caught up to Gardell at the McDonald’s, but the chase still wasn’t over. When two police cars approached her, she hit one of them and tried to go off-road – but ended up stuck in some mulch, police stated.

“Officers approached the vehicle and were able to pull her out of it, while she fought and struggled,” the release stated.

Simoncini told Boston.com she claimed the truck was hers. She is planning to plead not guilty, the website stated.

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