Man arrested after downtown police chase
BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR
A Ruther Glen man is accused of leading a Fredericksburg police officer on a downtown chase late Sunday night that ended when the stolen car he was driving crashed in a bank parking lot, city police said.
Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said Officer Ryan Merrell was in the 1900 block of Princess Anne Street about 10 p.m. Sunday when a Toyota passed him at a high speed with no headlights on.
Merrell, who had been heading toward U.S. 1, turned around and stopped the vehicle in front of the Hardee’s restaurant on Princess Anne Street. Bledsoe said that as the officer was getting out of his cruiser, the Toyota driver drove off.
Merrell got back into his car and followed the suspect through numerous downtown streets. The suspect ran stop signs and was driving recklessly, and Merrell lost sight of him a couple of times.
Finally, Merrell found the vehicle crashed on the Jackson Street side of Union First Market Bank on Kenmore Avenue.
Before coming to rest at the bank entrance, the car had hit a tree and run over several signs and cement parking blocks.
The driver was unresponsive when Merrell got to the car, and the driver’s side door was jammed closed. With the help of two other officers, Merrell pulled the driver out of the passenger’s side and he was able to walk to an ambulance.
The driver was taken to Mary Washington Hospital, where he was treated for injuries and released.
Police later contacted the Stafford County resident who owns the vehicle. Bledsoe said the owner didn’t even realize his car was gone and didn’t know the suspect.
Tommy Randell George, 53, was charged with driving while intoxicated, possession of stolen property, felony eluding, driving on a revoked license, reckless driving and multiple other traffic violations.
He was also charged in Stafford with grand larceny and tampering with a vehicle.
George was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404