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Combative Man Creates Wild Incident On I-66

Man escaped police, threatened them with a shovel.

Virginia State Police said a man caused a wild incident on I-66 today when he fought with police, escaped in a police cruiser, and threatened them with a shovel before he eventually was taken into custody.

Corinne Geller, VSP spokeswoman, said the incident happened at 11:58 a.m. when VSP Trooper C.T. Grzelak responded to I-66 for a male pedestrian in the eastbound lanes at the 46-mile marker in Prince William County. At about the same time, an Arlington County Police officer pulled up to the scene to assist and when they both approached the man, he became combative, Geller said.

Geller said the man started banging on the trooper's patrol car and punched the Arlington officer in the face before getting away in the officer's patrol car.

"The trooper then pursued the fleeing suspect," Geller said in a press release. "The pursuit continued off I-66 and onto Route 29 before returning to I-66 headed westbound. At the 47-mile marker in Fairfax County, State Police and Prince William County Police were able to encircle and contain the suspect vehicle and force it onto the shoulder where it finally came to a stop."

Geller said the suspect then ran from the police cruiser, jumped into the bed of a pickup truck that was stopped in the westbound lanes of I-66 while the westbound traffic was stopped because of the incident. She said the man grabbed a shovel and started swinging it at the police before he finally calmed down and dropped the shovel. But he then jumped out of the pickup truck and climbed over a cement wall.

"In the left shoulder of the eastbound lanes of I-66, the male subject still refused to be taken into custody and fought the trooper and sergeant during the course of the apprehension," Geller said. "Both the trooper and sergeant suffered minor injuries."

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center and charges are pending. The Arlington County police officer was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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