In separate incidents, police chased two drivers Saturday — one of them who abandoned his car in the median and fled on foot in Amissville, the other on a motorcycle traveling at speeds surpassing 120 mph during the rider’s 21-mile attempt to elude his pursuers from near Washington all the way into Culpeper County.
Both drivers were arrested and charged with a variety of felony and misdemeanor offenses.
The motorcyclist, who police said took off westbound on U.S. 211 when Virginia State Police Trooper Phillip Thomas tried to pull him over near Massies Corner, was identified as 31-year-old Bryant A. Fletcher III of Washington. He is charged with felony eluding police, and driving on a suspended license.
According to Thomas’ criminal complaint on file at Rappahannock County District Court, where Fletcher was arraigned Tuesday and released on a $20,000 bond, he and Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chris Koglin both chased Fletcher, with Koglin taking the lead as the motorcyclist headed toward Sperryville. Fletcher continued through Sperryville and turned south on U.S. 522 toward Woodville, police said.
Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office deputies set up a roadblock near the county line, but the rider got through it; Koglin and other CCSO patrol officers eventually boxed Fletcher in not far from the Salem fire hall, some six miles south of the county line.
Earlier Saturday, Koglin clocked a vehicle traveling at 80 mph on U.S. 211 in Amissville. When he attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver — identified as Franklin Todd Berry Jr., 22, of Amissville — pulled into a median crossover at Mayhugh’s Store and jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot into the woods near Mayhugh’s. Berry’s wife, three-week-old infant and a two-year-old child were still inside the car, and Berry eventually gave himself up, Koglin’s complaint says. Berry failed three field sobriety tests, the complaint says, allegedly telling Koglin at one point that he’d accelerated his vehicle up to 100 mph “to see what it had.”
Berry is charged with two felony counts of recklessly endangering a child and four misdemeanors, including DWI, eluding police, driving without a license and traveling more than 20 mph over the speed limit. Released on his own recognizance Tuesday, Berry’s hearing is July 15.
Fletcher’s hearing is scheduled for Aug. 12.
As the result of a traffic stop Monday (June 9), Deputy Brandan Smoot arrested Douglas Lee Utt, 39, of Rixeyville, and charged him with DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Joshua A. Mack, a 25-year-old Culpeper resident, was charged after midnight May 30 with driving under the influence (DUI) after RCSO Deputy Cody Dodson found him asleep at the wheel — of a vehicle stopped in the right-hand travel lane of U.S. 211 near Battle Mountain Road.
Dodson conducted field sobriety tests after rousing Mack at about 12:30 a.m., Sheriff Connie C. Smith said. Mack is scheduled for a hearing on the first-offense charge on Aug. 5.
The RCSO and the state medical examiner’s office also investigated the death of James A. “Bear” Bryant, a Sperryville resident who was found dead at an office at 12693 Lee Hwy. shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday, June 2, Smith said. No further details were available.