Man steals car with 3 kids from Taco Bell drive-thru, then crashes: Sheriff

An Ohio man forced his way into a vehicle in a Taco Bell drive-thru line before speeding off with the driver’s three children ages 6 and younger inside, according to the local sheriff’s office.

Mark Carlson, 44, was taken into custody shortly after his August 3 crime spree that included two carjackings and a police chase, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), who said in an online statement on Thursday that a deputy needed to be hospitalized for injuries sustained in the incident.

SCSO did not provide additional details on the deputy’s injuries or condition at the time of publication.

Newsweek reached out via email on Sunday to SCSO and the Akron Police Department for comment. It was unclear at the time of publication whether Carlson had been formally charged or whether he had retained an attorney.

Mark Carlson, 44, carjacked two vehicles, one of which had three young children inside, according to the local sheriff’s office.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office

Carlson started his crime spree by stealing a car in Akron, Ohio, SCSO said in its online statement. Carlson drove roughly 20 minutes to the city of Green where the stolen vehicle ran out of gas on Arlington Road.

SCSO said that Carlson went to a BP Station on Arlington Road where he attempted to steal another vehicle, but was unsuccessful. He then ran to a nearby Taco Bell and carjacked a vehicle in the fast-food restaurant’s drive-thru lane.

Carlson forced his way into the vehicle after a struggle with the female driver, according to the sheriff’s office, who said he then fled in the vehicle with the driver’s three children, ages 6, 5, and 2 still inside. He crashed into the building, let out the 6-year-old and 5-year-old, and drove away with the 2-year-old in the back, SCSO said. With the toddler still in the vehicle, he then drove to the Circle K on Massillon Road, where he left the child, before fleeing southbound on Interstate 77.

SCSO patrol units pursued Carlson, who continued back into Akron. He exited the stolen vehicle near Shelby Avenue and Evers Street and fled on foot. Deputies then pursued Carlson into a wooded area, the sheriff’s office said.

The Akron Police Department (APD) assisted SCSO deputies in locating Carlson, who was arrested and taken into custody at the scene, Summit County Sheriff Kandy Fatheree said in the Thursday statement.

SCSO confirmed that the Akron Fire Department transported one of the deputies to the hospital. Other than the deputy, it was unclear at the time of publication if there were any additional injuries.

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