Police searching for ‘dangerous’ fugitive who crashed car in chase

Posted at 4:33 PM, Oct 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-15 07:25:49-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Virginia State Police, along with Prince George County and the City of Petersburg Police Department are searching for a suspect who fled on foot following a pursuit.

Sgt. Thomas Molnar with Virginia State Police said that shortly before 2:00 p.m. Monday, a state trooper attempted to stop the driver of a Mazda CX9 for speeding on Route 460 and Alden Road in Prince George County.

The driver failed to stop for the trooper and continued to flee from the trooper, police said.

Former Petersburg police officer Mike Wessel was caught up in the police chase.

"It was substantially frightening don't know how else to put it," said Wessel.

Wessel and his wife were heading back from vacation when a car came tearing up the shoulder of Route 460 in Prince George County.

"You could hear the gravel in the ditch and the car coming beside us," said Wessel.

Wessel's wife hit the brakes, the speeding car cut in front of the couple’s truck and darted through an intersection. State police were following closely behind him after police reported that the driver failed to pull over for a speeding violation.

"His right mirror was hanging off so I know that somebody got hit behind us," said Wessel.

Finally, after a 10-mile chase and speeds reaching 100 miles an hour, eyewitness Steve Showns said he saw the driver got a flat tire and was practically driving on the rim-- near the intersection of route 460 and Hickory Hill Road

"Underneath the car sparks were flying and he was driving crazy around people and everything," said Showns.

Showns claimed he then witnessed the suspect lose speed and cut in to a gas station parking lot. Police report it was then that the suspect bailed from the car on foot and let his vehicle roll down this embankment and crash in to a tree.

"Then he came right over here and went right down the hill," said Showns as he pointed to the damaged tree stump.

The suspect escaped and is still at large. Wessel said he feels like he is lucky to have escaped too, such a close call, his life on the line.

"If she hadn't stopped when she did thankfully, and God wouldn't have been on our side I would have been killed," said Wessel.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.  He is described as a black male with a medium complexion approximately five feet 10 inches weighing approximately 180 pounds.

He is considered dangerous, according to police. The investigation remains on-going.