WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WJW) — Local restaurants have been hit by a series of thefts known as “dine and dashes,” and one of the crimes became nearly fatal after an employee was taken on a wild and dangerous ride as she tried , stop three offending eaters.
The story began to unfold Sunday night when a manager at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Willoughby, Ohio, tried to stop three teenage girls who had allegedly lost their $115 bill and jumped in their car. The manager tried to write down her license number, but one of the passengers removed the temporary tag from the rear window. The manager then called the police as he and other employees tried to stop the car from leaving.
“They just bolted forward and I was right there so I was on the car. They tried to say I jumped on the car, but actually I was practically put on the vehicle,” Buffalo Wild Wings staffer Kayla Sherman told Nexstar’s WJW.
The 24-year-old Sherman held onto the hood of the car near the windshield while the 16-year-old driver drove in circles around the parking lot trying to avoid Sherman and a second employee who was holding on to a door handle to vacate wagon.
According to Sherman, “I had my fingers under the hood right there, clinging as hard as I could.”
In the tone of the 911 call received by WJW, the restaurant manager told the dispatcher, “One of my employees just fell off, my other employee is still on top.”
When the dispatcher replies, “Tell your operator to get out of the vehicle,” the manager calls out, “‘Get out of the car, Kayla!’ She can’t, they drive so fast [expletive].”
The teenager behind the wheel then turned onto the road and accelerated.
“Wearing in and out of traffic, banging on the wipers to try to bring me down, you know how you laugh and say, ‘We’re taking you on the freeway,'” Sherman said.
She later told investigators that the teens in the car threw objects, including glasses of soda and bottles of water, out of the sunroof as the car sped down the street in an attempt to knock them off the car’s hood.
When the driver decided to head down a side street, Sherman realized this was her best chance of saving herself and she rolled out of the car into the snow.
“I was so grateful and not long after that an officer was right there and I was like, ‘Please, just help me.’ He said ‘what do you need’, I said ‘I just need to be warm’, my fingers were black and blue from the cold that night,” she said.
A short time later, a Wickliffe Police officer heard the report about the car and when he tried to stop the vehicle, the driver spun in the snow.
The 16-year-old driver has been arrested for fleeing and escaping, and she and her 17-year-old passengers also face dine and dash charges.
“I really didn’t think I was going to make it,” Sherman said. “I really believed I was going to die, they would either let me fall down somehow or if I fell down they would run me over. For someone to intentionally hit me over a $115 check baffled me.”
Although the ordeal left Sherman bruised and sore, she has already returned to work.
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