The Washington Post

Montgomery driver pleads guilty to stealing dump truck, damaging McDonald’s

Damage to a McDonald's drive through that Montgomery authorities say was struck by a drunk driver behind the wheel of a dump truck. (Montgomery County State's Attorneys Office)

Two weeks ago, a drunk driver in Montgomery County made a wrong turn during an early morning run to Taco Bell and rammed his Ford Explorer into the fence of a police station, according to authorities. Turns out the case wasn’t all that unique.

Late this week, another Montgomery man — who lives about five miles from the Taco Bell suspect — pleaded guilty to burglary and theft amid allegations that he got drunk, broke into a former employer’s warehouse, stole a dump truck, drove away and smashed into the roof of a McDonald’s drive-through at 2 in the morning.

“Alcohol played a large factor in this offense,” Melanie Creedon, an attorney for Brian S. Mangum, acknowledged in court Thursday.

Creedon said that Mangum wants long-term treatment and would benefit from it — points she will make at his sentencing hearing.

The McDonald’s incident, according to court records, dates to last year. On Oct. 18, the owner of D.R. Hartman Construction in Derwood arrived at his business and noted several things: a smashed glass door, food left out in the kitchenette and a missing 2000 Sterling dump truck. The police were called, and the owner told them about Mangum, who had been let go two months before but hadn’t turned in his keys to the truck.

Brian Mangum (Montgomery County Police)

Early the next morning, the manager of a McDonald’s in Damascus called 911. “A car went through the drive-through and broke the roof on the drive-through, and he’s parked in the front,” she said, according to a 911 recording.

Police found the truck in the parking lot of Jimmie Cone, a local ice cream institution. Officers detected a “strong odor” of alcohol emanating from the driver, identified as Mangum, Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Sartwell said in court. Mangum pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and auto theft. He faces up to 10 years on those counts, according to his plea agreement.

Traffic offenses — including driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a suspended license — are pending, according to Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Mangum has pleaded guilty to drunk driving at least twice in previous incidents, according to records.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.


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