Theft of beer from Cracker Barrel near LSU's campus leads to high-speed chase, crash Tuesday _lowres

John Rideau and Catherine Lanieux

A New Orleans man who stole several cases of beer from Cracker Barrel and his get-away driver crashed into a gas pump as they were fleeing from police at speeds up to 70 mph in a 20 mph zone.

John Rideau, 53, walked into the Cracker Barrel on Nicholson Drive just before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, took four cases of Bud Light beer and left without paying for them, a Baton Rouge Police report says.

Rideau went outside and got into a vehicle with Catherine M. Lanieux, who then drove the gray sedan into a gap pump.

Lanieux did not stop for a patrol vehicle trying to initiate a traffic stop and continued driving recklessly through traffic along Highland Road and East State Street, an LSU police report says.

Lanieux, of Baton Rouge, ran a traffic light at the intersection of East State Street and Dalrymple Drive. She, with Rideau inside, crashed into a traffic signal and a fence trying to evade police, the reports say.

Lanieux, 46, then got out of the car and ran away. Police found her hiding in bushes next to the LSU Lakes, the LSU report says.

The Baton Rouge Police report notes that before Rideau left the store, employees were able to retrieve one of the cases of beer, and the three remaining cases were recovered at the final crash site.

Baton Rouge Police booked Rideau, 2711 Sonia St., New Orleans, into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on theft of goods.

LSU Police booked Lanieux, 2269 Willow St., on one count each of aggravated flight from an officer, reckless operation, resisting arrest, driver not licensed, stop sign violation and careless operation.