South Fulton County

Man in stolen tractor led metro police on 20 MPH chase before hitting cars parked at Waffle House

HAPEVILLE, Ga. — A man is now in police custody after leading officers on a low-speed chase going under the speed limit in a stolen tractor.

Hapeville police say they received reports of a stolen tractor fleeing from College Park police down Virginia Avenue on Thursday morning just after 9 a.m.

Officers spotted a green John Deere 5100 tractor pulling a green John Deere Batwing lawn mower in front of the Hilton hotel.

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They tried to stop the tractor, but the driver kept going. He eventually made a U-turn and tried hitting officers who tried boxing him in.

The driver then turned into a McDonald’s parking lot on Norman Berry Drive and went into a Waffle House parking lot.

Once in the Waffle House parking lot, officers got out of their cars. The driver then sped up and hit a patrol car.


One officer was able to climb inside the tractor and stop the driver from continuing the chase, but not before he crashed into a second car in the parking lot.

The police report states the driver, later identified as Matthew Fortune, was going 20 miles per hour throughout the chase.

Fortune was pepper sprayed and ultimately removed from the tractor.

The tractor had been stolen out of College Park, so Fortune was turned over to College Park police and was taken into custody.

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