Vehicle Pursuit with Apprehension

On Friday, January 29, shortly after 3 p.m., The Virginia State Police received a “hit” from an automatic license plate reader (LPR) regarding a vehicle that had been taken in a carjacking. A lookout was broadcast to area law enforcement agencies and shortly thereafter, the vehicle was spotted by an observant Fairfax County police officer on patrol in the Mount Vernon District. The officer got behind the suspect vehicle which then abruptly made an illegal U-turn. The officer activated his emergency lights and siren and attempted to initiate a traffic stop near Richmond Highway and Southgate Drive, but the vehicle sped off and a pursuit ensued.

The vehicle continued over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into Maryland. Officers were given approval by their supervisor to follow, as the crime met our pursuit policy criteria. At one point the officer tried to block the vehicle in, however it maneuvered away. The officer cautiously pushed his cruiser into the suspect vehicle, moving it to the right curb, where a tire blew out. This however did not stop the vehicle and it drove off again.

The officer’s cruiser became temporarily disabled and a second officer took control of the pursuit. The suspect could no longer control the vehicle due to the damaged tire and stopped on Indian Head Highway. The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot, with the officer close behind him. After a short foot pursuit, the driver was apprehended, as well as two passengers that remained in the vehicle.

The driver was identified as Christopher Wells, 30, of Temple Hills, Maryland. He was wanted for robbery in Maryland and had a suspended driver’s license. Officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department responded and took control of the scene and all who were arrested. Wells was transported to Fort Washington Hospital for a previous injury that he exacerbated when he ran from officers.

There are now warrants on file in Fairfax County for speed to elude and no operator’s license.

No officers were injured.