Police: Man hit McDonald’s menu, gave chase on a flat tire

A New Whiteland man was arrested after police say he damaged a McDonald’s drive-thru menu and led police on a chase that ended on Indianapolis’ southside.

Cory D. Vandegriff, 35, was arrested on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement using a vehicle, interfering with public safety, leaving the scene of a crash, reckless driving and refusal to identify himself to police. Formal charges have not yet been filed.

Greenwood police were called to McDonald’s, 2252 S. U.S. Highway 31, around 11:45 p.m. on a report of property damage Sunday night. An employee reported that an intoxicated man driving a red pickup truck attempted to order a meal at the drive-thru. The man hopped the curb and struck the menu board before bending the menu board back and leaving the scene, according to a Greenwood Police Department report.

Approximately 10 minutes later, police saw a truck matching the description of the truck from the McDonald’s crash driving north on Emerson Avenue at a high rate of speed. The truck was going 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, and appeared to go even faster once it got out of radar range, the report says.

Police attempted to catch up to the vehicle, and the driver appeared to be unable to maintain his lane. He eventually ran past a red light at the intersection of County Line Road and Emerson Avenue, continuing north into Indianapolis, according to the report.

Officers pursued the truck as it continued north on Emerson Avenue. The truck struck a construction barrel north of Stop 11 Road, and eventually went westbound on Southport Road where the driver struck a median causing one of the truck’s tires to become flat. The driver then went northbound on Interstate 65 before eventually turning onto eastbound Interstate 465, the report shows.

While on the interstate, the truck passed “dangerously close” to a semi while still at a high rate of speed with a flat tire. The truck exited on Emerson Avenue and tried to go southbound. However, police say the driver overshot the southbound lanes and struck the raised center median, causing the truck to go briefly go airborne.

The truck then ended up in a wooded area behind a gas station on the 4000 block of S. Emerson Avenue in Indianapolis. The driver, later identified as Vandegriff was still sitting in the driver’s seat. Officers ordered him out of the vehicle at gunpoint, but he allegedly ignored their commands and began digging around the vehicle, according to the report.

Eventually, Vandegriff opened the driver’s side door. A short time later, an officer and his K-9 partner entered the wooded area to find Vandegriff. He was later located hiding in thick underbrush near his wrecked vehicle, the report says

Police say Vandegriff continued to ignore officers’ commands, and officers eventually dragged him out of the bush. He resisted officers’ attempts to place him in handcuffs, and a few minutes later, officers were finally able to get him handcuffed.

Medics checked Vandegriff for injuries and officers asked him to identify himself. He refused, and officers later searched BMV records which showed the truck belonged to him and that he was Vandegriff, according to the report.

BMV records also showed Vandegriff had a conditional license status, and one of the conditions was that he should not be driving past 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday while at a residence in New Whiteland, the report says.

At the hospital, police detected a “strong odor” of an alcoholic beverage from Vandegriff. Medics told police that he had admitted to consuming alcohol before driving, the report says.

Vandegriff was informed that he was in custody for fleeing police, and he repeatedly said he did not understand what was going on. He also refused chemical testing.

Further research by police showed that Vandegriff had previously been convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in 2019. He was later taken to the Johnson County jail on Monday evening.