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Police Chase Suspect Faces Three Charges

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

March 8, 2006

It was an intense Wednesday morning for some drivers in Charlottesville as a man leads police on a chase following a routine traffic stop. How it ended caused lots of confusion for those living in a near-by neighborhood.

"I looked out, and I saw all of these cars going up and down--police cars--with flashers on. So, I said 'what's going on'," said Frances Lowry

Frances Lowry was alert, and worried because she saw police driving through her neighborhood, chasing a car moving at a high rate of speed.

"I saw a lot of police cars going up and down the road," said Lottie Hurtt.

Police were following the car because the man behind the wheel was allegedly driving recklessly on Rio Road. The officer, who just happened to be running a radar, noticed and pulled the man over, but was not able to talk to him.

"The driver turned around to look at me, and all of a sudden he hit the gas, and took off up the street," said Officer Steve Grissom of the Charlottesville Police Department.

Something so simple, quickly turned into something more complicated. Not only for the driver and officer, but for other drivers on Rio Road during the morning commute.

"Most people were paying attention [by] pulling over and getting out of the way for the most part," added Officer Grissom.

Officer Grissom, driving his police car with the siren and lights on, continued to follow the man. The car chase went through several side streets, but turned into a foot chase, when the suspect hit an on-coming car at Agnese Street and Elizabeth Avenue.

"He was jumping out of the driver's side, and running up into the woods, and I gave a short chase. He actually hid on me at one point, and I couldn't see him," added Officer Grissom.

"I assumed they were down in the woods, but I didn't know. I went down and looked, but I didn't see anyone," added Hurtt

The officer regained sight of the suspect when he fell into a small creek.

Hearing the conversation of the chase on the radio, other police were able to provide assistance, and arrest the suspect.

The man police arrested faces three charges, and they are: felony of eluding police, felony of hit and run, and revocation of license.

The suspect will be in court for a bond hearing on Thursday morning.


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