Police: Tavern Employee Hit by DUI Driver, Rides Quarter-Mile on Hood
After allegedly striking an employee of the Whitpain Tavern, John Forell, of Plymouth Meeting, was arrested by Whitpain Township Police.
On Aug. 4, Whitpain Police responded to Whitpain Tavern for the report of a highly intoxicated patron trying to leave in a dark colored Ford.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, while enroute to the tavern, the responding officer was informed that the patron had left the bar and crashed his Ford Taurus into a parked, unattended vehicle in the parking lot.
A police investigation would later determine that the suspect had been sleeping at the bar and that staff told him that he would not be served any more alcohol. At this point, the suspect left Whitpain Tavern.
Then, another employee tried to stop the suspect from leaving the parking lot. According to police reports, the employee told the suspect that he would not let him drive away and offered to call a cab. The suspect allegedly got into the vehicle and the employee attempted to stop him from leaving by standing behind the car so he could not leave the parking space.
However, the suspect backed up anyway, allegedly striking the employee in the left leg. The employee, who was now standing in front of of the vehicle, again attempted to stop the vehicle from leaving. However, the suspect drove forward striking the employee again, and forced the employee to fall onto the hood of the vehicle.
The vehicle left the parking lot traveling southbound on DeKalb Pike with the employee reportedly still on the hood, made a right onto Swede Road and pulled into Blue Bell Motors, where the employee was able to finally get off the vehicle's hood, police said.
A witness followed the suspect in their SUV and parked their vehicle at the entrance of Blue Bell Motors in an attempt to block the subject in the lot.
In an effort to escape, the suspect struck the witness's vehicle and fled south on Swede Road into East Norriton Township.
According to Whitpain Police reports, the suspect was identified as John Forell, 49, of Plymouth Meeting.
A warrant was issued for Forell for Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Reckless Driving and related charges.
Forell turned himself in on this warrant and was arraigned before District Justice Robert Sobeck. Bail was set at $10,000.
Forell was also charged with retail theft in connection with a March 28 report of a male who had allegedly entered the Blue Bell Giant Food Store, drank a Red Bull and left the store without paying for it.
When Forell was approached by an employee, he refused to pay for the drink, began swearing at the employee and left the parking lot, a report said.
Forell also pled guilty to Retail Theft and Disorderly Conduct for the theft at Giant.