By Alexandra Bogdanovic
Special to the Rappahannock News
Fauquier County deputies and Prince William County police assisted with the apprehension of a Rappahannock County man who allegedly led state police on a half hour-long chase last Thursday night (April 21) into Fauquier County.
The chase ended on U.S. 29 in New Baltimore after the suspect’s pickup truck hit “stinger spikes” deployed by state troopers.
The spikes flattened all four of the tires and the pickup “came to a rolling stop on U.S. 29 just north of Route 600 [Broad Run Church Road],” according to state police spokeswoman Corrine Geller.
Geller said the driver, identified as Austin A. Griffith, 31, of Amissville, fled on foot, but troopers caught up with him quickly and took him into custody without incident.
Griffith was charged with DUI; driving on a revoked license (due to a previous DUI conviction), a felony count of eluding police; multiple drug possession charges; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Around 8:30 p.m., a motorist called state police, reporting “the erratic driving behavior of a red 1996 Ford pickup truck” going west on Interstate 66, Geller said.
State Police found the pickup truck, and after watching the vehicle drift across the westbound lanes, pulled the vehicle over on the westbound shoulder of I-66 near the U.S. 29 interchange in Centreville.
“As the trooper walked up to the pickup truck, the driver sped away at a high rate of speed,” Geller said. The trooper returned to his patrol car and gave chase.
The chase continued west on the interstate. At one point, Griffith allegedly crossed into the eastbound lanes going the wrong way before making his way back into the westbound lanes.
Griffith eventually exited onto U.S. 29, Geller said. No vehicles were hit during the pursuit and no one was injured.