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.
Be sure to download the WSOC-TV Wake Up app to get the latest breaking news, weather and traffic on your phone first thing in the mornings.
Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com:
- Police: One killed in west Charlotte after CMPD officer shot
- Fiancé of NC $88M lottery winner out of jail anew on $12M bond
- New North Carolina school bus law goes into effect Monday
- Winston-Salem officer injured in traffic stop shooting
- Charlotte City Council to hold workshop on I-77 toll lanes Monday
- Speed played role in Cabarrus Co. deadly crash, troopers say
Police: Drunk man who stole, crashed CMPD cruiser to face judge
Texas mom accused of handcuffing, seriously injuring 3-year-old son
Report: Woman threw hot grits at boyfriend during fight
El Cajon, California, police shooting: What we know now
Video shows deputies stunning man with hands behind his back