Two days after a video showed a restaurant worker seriously injured after a car — allegedly driven by a Grubhub courier — struck her, a “person of interest” has turned himself in to police, according to the Sun-Times and multiple other media reports. The man was not immediately charged.
The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. Friday outside Ms. T’s Southern Fried Chicken, 3343 N. Broadway Street. Ms. T’s owner Angenita Tanner tells reporters that the exchange began around an hour earlier when she asked a Grubhub delivery driver to wait outside the restaurant in an effort to maintain social distancing. He refused, according to Tanner, before he began kicking the door and returning to his car.
Tanner and her daughter Bijan Early then called police and followed the driver outside to prevent him from leaving, the Sun-Times reported. A witness told Block Club Chicago that he estimates the car dragged Early up to 40 feet and ran over her with both ends of the car. That resulted in a broken pelvis, arms, and legs, according to the victim’s mother. Paramedics took her to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she underwent surgery.
A witness provided Tanner with a video of the incident that is now circulating online. In the recording, Early can be heard talking to the driver: “You just kicked our door,” she says. “This is too much disrespect that we get on a day-to-day. We’re just trying to be essential workers and feed people. This is ridiculous.” With her back to the car, seconds later the Toyota Prius lurches forward, sending Early up onto the car’s hood, and then down onto the ground.
Grubhub has released a statement that the company is cooperating with police and has terminated the driver’s contract. According to the company, he passed a background check and didn’t have a history of misconduct. Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce plans to help coordinate a fundraiser with Tanner and her family.
Tanner first opened Ms. T’s in 2016. She previously operated a location of Chicago’s famed Harold’s Chicken before leaving to run her own restaurant. The menu highlights fried fish and chicken, including livers and gizzards, in buckets, dinners, and combos. And there’s also mild sauce.
Tensions are running high for a number of third-party food delivery companies in Chicago, as the city moves to require them to increase transparency by providing customers itemized receipts that show all charges, and considers capping delivery fees for restaurants at 5 percent. In early April, Chicago saw another violent incident that involved a Caviar delivery driver who allegedly assaulted a 67-year-old Rogers Park man.