by: Joe Bruno Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Police have arrested a man they said was drunk when he stole an officer's patrol car early Saturday morning and crashed it in the woods in west Charlotte.
Investigators said the officer was working off-duty at a nightclub when the theft happened, and that the man ended up wrecking the stolen cruiser on Scott Futrell Drive.
As a tow truck pulled the police car from the woods around 6 a.m., the front of the cruiser looked to be completely totaled from the wreck.
Investigators told Channel 9 that an officer was working off-duty at The White House nightclub when he responded to a fight call around 2 a.m. at a neighboring business, Coyote Joe's, on Wilkinson Boulevard.
When the officer arrived on scene, he got out of his cruiser to speak with some people, and left the car running with the key in the ignition.
That's when police said Kody Grayson, 22, jumped into the unlocked cruiser and sped off.
A short time later, the vehicle was found crashed in the woods in the 3600 block of Scott Futrell Drive. Grayson had run away from the crash scene before officers arrived.
Officers later found Grayson 14 miles away in the 8300 block of Steele Creek Road and paramedics were called to treat an injury he sustained in the crash.
Grayson was then taken to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office where he was charged with larceny of motor vehicle, driving while impaired, reckless driving to endanger, resisting a public officer and hit and run.
Police said the incident is under investigation and will be reviewed internally to determine if the officer was following protocol.
Grayson will make his first court appearance Monday.
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