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Man arrested after police chase

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A Stafford County man was arrested after police say his girlfriend called to report his car stolen when, police say, the man had actually crashed it while avoiding a county deputy.

Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said the incident began late Friday in the 2900 block of Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1). Deputy Matthew Flick was heading south when a northbound vehicle went by him at a high rate of speed.

The vehicle was still going more than 80 mph by the time Flick turned around to pursue it. The suspect was driving erratically and at one point went into the southbound lanes to pass other northbound vehicles; one southbound driver maneuvered out of the suspect’s path and narrowly avoided being struck, Kennedy said.

Police later learned that the driver had actually hit another vehicle just before passing Flick. That victim was shaken up but not injured, Kennedy said, though his vehicle suffered more than $1,000 worth of damage.

Meanwhile, Flick continued to follow the vehicle into southern Prince William County. The driver made multiple turns through various neighborhoods and streets before entering a townhouse complex in the Melrose area, police said. Kennedy said the driver then struck a curb while speeding through a traffic circle, causing his air bags to deploy.

At that point, the driver got out of the wrecked vehicle and ran. Kennedy said Flick got a clear look at the suspect when he got out of the vehicle. Prince William officers and police dogs joined in the subsequent search but did not find the driver.

The next morning, Deputy Stephanie Ellington went to Park Brook Court in North Stafford to investigate a stolen car report. The owner’s girlfriend had called police to report that the car had been stolen from the parking lot sometime late Friday night or early Saturday. The owner joined the girlfriend in talking to Ellington.

Ellington passed the information to Flick when he returned to duty Saturday evening. Flick went to the Stafford residence and determined that the man who owns the car was the same one he’d seen running from it the night before.

Scott Ruhren, 44, was charged with felony eluding, felony hit and run, failing to stop at an accident and reckless driving.

He was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

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