A Tinley Park cop was hurt during a routine traffic stop last month that escalated into a wrestling match in a moving car and a police chase through Vogt Woods.
Bail was set at $200,000 for Grant H. McGarry, of Tinley Park, who faces charges of felony aggravated battery to a cop and aggravated assault with a vehicle, police said.
McGarry led police on a nighttime chase in the woods when he jumped out of his car during a routine traffic stop on Ravinia Drive on Sept. 25, according to a recently released Tinley Park police report. With the help of a Chicago police helicopter, cops captured McGarry near the Rock Island train tracks later that night.
At about 8:24 p.m., an officer watched a black Dodge Stratus make a turn without signaling from the 7-Eleven parking lot on Oak Park Avenue into the northbound lane, the report states.
The officer who made the stop has had multiple drug-related contacts with McGarry and the driver of the car, Julie A. Mell, 22, also of Tinley Park, the report states. Both allegedly are heroin users, while Grant also has been known to use crack. Mell was ticketed later for failing to signal and released from police custody.
Mell told police drugs and a crack pipe were in the car when she was questioned by police at the scene.
An officer confronted McGarry with the information about the drugs, which he denied having, police said. The cop said he was calling a drug dog and asked him to step away. That's when McGarry jumped into car through the passenger-side doorway.
The cop grabbed at McGarry, who had maneuvered himself into the driver's seat, the report states. During the struggle, the officer's arm became pinned between McGarry and the driver's seat. While the cop was freeing himself, McGarry put the car in drive and floored the gas pedal. The sudden acceleration slammed the passenger side door shut, bruising and cutting the officer's shin.
The struggle between McGarry and the officer continued as the car sped toward Ravinia and Riverside drives, the report states. After wrestling over control of the gear shift, the officer shot his Taser into Grant's chest. The officer believed the loose-fitting shirt caught the prongs and used the stun gun directly against McGarry. The driver yelped, which gave the officer the chance to throw the car into park.
McGarry jumped out of the car and took off into the woods, police said.
Officers scoured the woods using a Cook County helicopters and swept through the neighborhood in search of contraband reportedly thrown from the car, the report states. Nothing was found during the search of the streets and yards.During questioning, McGarry and Mell told police they drove to Harvey for drugs and had stopped at 7-Eleven to purchase cigarettes, the reports states. McGarry said he grew nervous about whether he had hidden a magnetic key holder containing drugs under the steering wheel when he decided to leap into the car.
McGarry is due on Oct. 21 in Bridgeview court.