John M. Schmidt, 37, of Gurnee (inset) was charged in connection with an incident at a Gurnee Wendy’s restaurant on December 15. | Background Photo: Google Street View

A Gurnee man was arrested after prosecutors say he stole a Wendy’s employee’s car in Gurnee and drove it the wrong way through the drive-thru before striking another car and battering a person.

John M. Schmidt, 37, of Gurnee, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated driving under the influence, driving under the influence, battery making physical contact and disorderly conduct.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Francis DeRosa said officers responded on December 15 to a call of a person being combative at a Wendy’s restaurant in Gurnee.

Officers learned Schmidt had driven the wrong way through the drive-thru and got stuck in front of someone’s car that was in the drive-thru.

Schmidt got out of the car, a Chevrolet Blazer, and was yelling at the person to back up but they could not because there were other cars behind them in the line, DeRosa said.

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The bystander thought something was wrong with Schmidt so he got out of his car to make sure Schmidt was okay, DeRosa said.

Schmidt allegedly got physically aggressive and grabbed the other man by his shirt and shook him.

Schmidt got back into the Chevrolet and tried driving around the bystander’s car but ended up hitting it, DeRosa said.

Officers arrived to find Schmidt still in the vehicle and learned that the car did not belong to him.

A Wendy’s employee came outside and told police that the Chevrolet belonged to him.

The employee said he had parked his car at the restaurant and left the keys in the car.

He said that he does not know Schmidt and did not give him permission to take the car, DeRosa said.

Paramedics transported Schmidt to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville due to his level of intoxication being three times over the legal limit.

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Schmidt, who is currently under a statutory summary suspension and his license is revoked for a previous DUI case, also tested positive for cocaine, DeRosa said.

Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Schmidt held on a $200,000 bond.

Schmidt remains held in the Lake County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court again on January 11 for a preliminary hearing.