Man steals beer, crashes into building in downtown Fort Payne
October 25, 2016 Share

Man steals beer, crashes into building in downtown Fort Payne

PHOTO: The hole in the Quinn building, next to Fort Payne Fire Station No. 2

By C. Campbell, Staff Writer

cody@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — According to Fort Payne Police Chief Randy Bynum, at 4:42 on Wednesday morning, Fort Payne Police received a call from the South End Market on Gault Avenue, at the northern arm of the South Y.

A man wearing a ski mask and brandishing a hammer, broke the glass on the front door and entered the building. Interestingly, the store was open, and the door was unlocked. The subject then proceeded to the store’s beer cooler, smashed the glass on one of the cooler’s doors, and left the store with a carton of beer.

After leaving the store, the subject, later identified as 25 year old Joshua Christian Grant, of Altoona, Alabama, drove north on Gault Avenue at a high rate of speed. Police officers traveling south met Grant’s car at around the 600 block of Gault Avenue. The officers turned around and gave chase, but were unable to catch back up to Grant.

“The car veered off in front of Fire Station Number 2 and hit a light pole,” Bynum said.

After hitting the pole, Grant’s car then continued across the fire station parking lot before hitting a small curb. “This curb caused his car to go airborne before crashing into the building,” Bynum added.

A deputy coroner pronounced Grant dead on the scene. The whole episode, from the call being received to the crash into the historic Quinn Hotel building, Bynum estimated occurred within approximately five minutes.

Bynum explained that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency arrived on the scene shortly after the incident and took charge of the investigation, with the Fort Payne Police Department providing ALEA with any necessary assistance.

The car was removed from the building by 8 AM, though it took until between 8:30 and 8:45 to clear and reopen the road. While investigators are wanting to perform a toxicology on Grant, Bynum said, “It’s pretty much an open and shut case.”

Bynum expressed how unfortunate of an incident this was, but also explained that thankfully, nobody else was hurt during the entire episode.

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