(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) Four people have been taken into custody after a police pursuit through Pentagon City.
Initial reports suggested that police were trying to pull over two suspects in a white SUV near the Fashion Centre mall. The SUV had at least one flat tire, possibly flattened by officers using “stop sticks,” but refused to stop.
The driver, struggling to control the SUV due to the flat tire or tires, reportedly took a sudden detour through the Harris Teeter parking lot with police trailing behind.
A traffic camera showed the SUV exiting the parking lot onto Army Navy Drive, near the mall garage entrance, followed by multiple police cruisers. Arlington County police have a policy against giving chase except in certain circumstances, but officers radioed to the dispatch center that they were merely following the swerving SUV at a rate of speed below the speed limit.
The SUV could be seen turning onto S. Hayes Street, and shortly thereafter its occupants fled on foot. One person ran through the mall, with officers in pursuit, before being taken into custody in the parking garage on the food court level, according to scanner traffic. Officers told dispatchers that they subsequently recovered two guns.
Many of those details were confirmed in an account of the incident provided to ARLnow. From Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage:
At approximately 3:41 p.m. on November 23, police were alerted to a possibly stolen vehicle in the area of the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. Officers located the parked, unoccupied vehicle and confirmed its status as stolen. Five subjects subsequently returned to the vehicle and police attempted to stop them. Two subjects were detained without incident, one subject fled on foot, and two subjects fled in the vehicle. Officers deployed stop sticks, causing the rear tires of the vehicle to deflate, however the driver continued to travel at a low rate of speed around the area. Arlington County Police did not pursue the vehicle. With the assistance of Virginia State Police, the vehicle was stopped at 12th Street S. and S. Hayes Street and the driver of the vehicle was taken into custody without incident. The passenger fled on foot and officers initiated a brief foot pursuit before taking the subject into custody without further incident. One subject remains outstanding. During the investigation, two firearms were recovered. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.
At least one vehicle was reported to have been struck while the suspects made their attempted getaway, though at this point it’s unclear where.
Southbound S. Hayes Street in front of the mall was partially blocked by the police activity after the incident.
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