Police are investigating a hit-and-run involving a minivan that crashed into the front of the Popeyes at 5007 Columbia Pike this afternoon.
The incident happened around lunchtime at the Columbia Pike Plaza strip mall. After running into the front of the restaurant, the van backed into an SUV and then sped away, according to police and witnesses.
The collision caused minor damage to the Popeyes, including scrape marks on a brick column and a broken front window pane. The restaurant was briefly evacuated, according to scanner traffic, but then reopened and continued to serve lunch patrons. Nobody was hurt.
The SUV driver told ARLnow.com that the van backed into his vehicle as he was trying to leave the parking lot. The collision dented the front of the SUV but did not cause any injuries or significant damage. The SUV driver said the striking vehicle was a gray minivan, and the driver — who he caught a glimpse of as the van fled the scene — was a Hispanic male. He said it was his first crash in his 46 years of driving.
“I just hope they catch the bastard,” he said as he surveyed the damage to the SUV. “They better find him before I do.”
As of 1:00 p.m. police were still looking for the van and its driver. This was at least the third time a vehicle has crashed into the front of a business at the Columbia Pike Plaza shopping center since May 2011.