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Former Richmond interim chief solves possible performance crime

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Posted at 11:38 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 23:38:10-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A former Richmond interim chief helped to solve what could be considered a performance crime in Chesterfield County.

During a recent joint traffic enforcement operation, police say that a driver tried multiple times to bait them to chase him.

At least once a year, state troopers, the Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield police team up to run an enforcement operation from Interstate 95 to the Powhite Parkway.

"He was trying to bait the officers into an action and I have to say I was proud of personnel for exercising restraint," Col. Jeffrey Katz, Chesterfield County's Chief of Police, said.

Police said on numerous occasions, 18-year-old Anthony Vasquez would roll through their radar at excessive speeds trying to get officers to chase him. Police said that Vasquez's car was rigged with Go-Pros and that he hoped to record a pursuit.

"They balanced the need to apprehend him with the threat this guy represented to the community and decided not to pursue him at that time and just get information that could help later on in the investigation," Katz said.

The investigation included a search warrant at the man's Kendrick Road home. After an officer spotted his car parked in a lot next to Manchester Middle School, police were able to corner and handcuff Vasquez.

"Anything you're doing trying to get internet famous and brings law enforcement resources to bar, it could be a crime in Virginia," Katz said.

The performance crime would have been a misdemeanor. As of now, it has not been charged in Vasquez's case but he has been charged with felony eluding and reckless charges.

"The smart thing to do is what they did, just kind of sit back, observe, monitor and collect evidence. It sounds like an effective operation they had but it still has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt and that's the next step," CBS6 Legal Expert Todd Stone said.

Stone said that some of the best evidence will either come from dash cameras or body-worn camera video.