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Early Morning Chase Leads To Beltway Closure

A police chase beginning in Maryland early this morning ended in Virginia with Beltway closures and a traffic nightmare for morning commuters.

The chase began in Montgomery County and moved onto I-495, taking the American Legion Bridge into Virginia. At some point the Maryland police reported that they terminated their pursuit, while Virginia State Police took up the the pursuit of the car heading south on I-495. The Virginia State Police followed the black Mercury Mountaineer, which rammed state police vehicles at least two times, spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a news release.

The car was brought to a stop heading south on I-495 just south of Braddock Road. This resulted in a closure of I-495 lanes and a big traffic backup as rush hour began. All southbound lanes reopened by 7:12 a.m., the state police reported.

The driver of the vehicle was Andre Tyrone Washington, 24, of Fayetteville, N.C., according to the Virginia State Police. He was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, (felony) eluding police, reckless driving, damaging state property and assault, the state police said. He has also been charged as a fugitive from justice. He was taken to Fairfax Inova Hospital to be checked for injuries.

The chase began not far from the Beltway in Silver Spring this morning. Montgomery County police received a call this morning about a male and female fighting in front of the 1900 block of Lyttonsville Rd., followed by another call reporting a robbery at the same place, according to Capt. Paul Starks, police spokesman. Police arrived on the scene and were told by bystanders that a departing car was their suspect, so they pursued him onto nearby I-495, Starks said.

An officer went to the crime scene shortly after the chase began to verify the situation and learned it was a domestic-related theft, not a robbery, Starks said. So they cut off their pursuit and let Virginia officials know they were cutting it off as well, he said. Starks said Maryland officers ended their pursuit sometime around when the chase crossed over into Virginia.

By Mark Berman  |  October 14, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Congestion , Events , Getaway  
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