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State Police Chase Ends With Wreck in East Falls Church

Police car lightsFor the second time in two months, a police chase from I-66 has ended in East Falls Church.

The vehicle pursuit began around 2:45 a.m., when a Virginia State Police trooper pulled over a Nissan Xterra that was heading east on I-66 at a high rate of speed.

“During the course of the traffic stop, the Nissan fled from the trooper and headed east on I-66. The suspect vehicle took Exit 68 and the trooper lost sight of it,” according to a VSP press release. “As the Nissan came through the exit ramp, it ran off the road, went through a fence, struck a tree and then an unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot. The driver then fled the scene on foot.”

Arlington County and Fairfax County police helped to search for the driver, who was apprehended just before 4 a.m. after being found “behind a trash can” at the East Falls Church Metro station.

The man, 21-year-old Artis Thomas, Jr. of Washington, D.C., was taken into custody “without further incident” and locked up in the Arlington County Detention Center. He was charged with ” DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), felony eluding law enforcement, possession of a concealed weapon, hit-and-run, and possession of marijuana,” according to VSP.

Police say they recovered a handgun from Thomas’ vehicle.

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