Man Eludes Police; Apprehended in a Chimney

A 49-year-old man attempting to avoid apprehension for outstanding arrest warrants, fled and hid from officers on Thursday, October 29.

Patrol officers responded to a report of an assault in progress in a home in the 7400 block of Oriole Avenue in Springfield at around 3:15 p.m. Upon arrival to the home, officers saw a man attempting to drive away in a vehicle. The officer ordered him to stop and the man got out of the car, ran back into the home, closed and locked the door.

The officer spoke to the man through the window and asked him to come outside to speak with him. The man refused. After a few minutes, the door opened and police entered and spoke to residents of the home. Officers spoke to other people in the home regarding details about the original request for service and learned that the suspect had an outstanding felony warrant for a probation violation in Prince William County and a warrant for fraud from the Virginia State Police. There were numerous weapons in the home; in plain sight, and the family was concerned of the whereabouts of the suspect. Officers, assisted by a K-9 and Fairfax One (the Fairfax County Police helicopter) also responded to the area to assist with searching the neighborhood.

At approximately 5:40 p.m., officers were alerted to a possibility that the man had holed himself in the tiny ash room adjacent to the home’s chimney. Access to the chimney was a small metal door. Officers, along with a K-9, spotted the suspect and ordered him to surrender. He initially refused. An officer gripped the suspect, removed him from the chimney but he continued to be combative, non-compliant and ignoring the officer’s verbal commands. The officer, a 6 year veteran of the department, utilized bodily force and was eventually able to apprehend the man, identified as Michael Rocca, by handcuffing him.

Rocca complained of pain and was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for non life-threatening injuries. Warrants were obtained charging Michael Rocca with Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Resisting arrest, and Driving on a revoked license. Rocca will be transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center upon release from the hospital.

A woman in the home, Carleen M. Painter, 48, was charged with Obstruction of justice. She appeared before the magistrate; was charged and released.

The investigation is continuing.

Carleen Painter

Carleen Painter