(Updated on 8/16/23) The man accused of damaging upwards of 20 vehicles after stealing two trucks and an Arlington County ambulance over the weekend was previously arrested in Arlington in May.
Darell Caldwell, a 30-year-old Maryland man, is facing both federal and local charges in the wild Saturday afternoon incident, in which he led police on a winding chase of the stolen ambulance across parts of Arlington and into D.C. before his arrest, according to Virginia State Police.
New video from local public safety watcher Dave Statter gives an extended look at the chase.
Traffic camera video posted by Statter also shows how the series of crashes started: with the stolen truck sideswiping a vehicle in the Rosslyn tunnel along I-66. Prior to that, a truck was reported stolen from a construction site in the City of Falls Church.
WATCH: As @VSPPIO confirmed, before the #395rampage the driver of the stolen truck hit a vehicle on I-66. New video shows the truck speeding into the I-66 tunnel. A white vehicle in the right lane apparently got pushed into tunnel wall & limps out. From @SafetyVid. @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/cZgfOiylB5
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) August 13, 2023
To add to your article, This is the City of Falls Church PD dispatch at 3:23PM which kicked off the chain of events by suspect Darrell Caldwell. He stole the construction vehicle which he was driving when smashing through cars at the scene of 395 before the bridge. pic.twitter.com/snGWxwB3ZV
— Romeo (@RVANOVA01) August 14, 2023
Caldwell has a criminal record in Arlington, Fairfax County, D.C. and Prince George’s County, according to court records. He was out on bond from a recent Arlington case but became a fugitive after not showing up to a July court hearing, records show. The bond, for a drug possession charge, was approved by a magistrate judge.
“At no point before trial was the Commonwealth in a position to argue for or against Mr. Caldwell’s release,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti noted to ARLnow.
He was due in court after an incident just before midnight on May 25 along N. Glebe Road, a few blocks north of Ballston. According to Arlington County police, Caldwell was tried to run from police after he was seen walking in the middle of Glebe Road.
NARCOTICS VIOLATION, 2023-05250307, N. Glebe Road and 14th Street N. At approximately 11:43 p.m. on May 25, 2023, a patrol officer observed two intoxicated males walking in lanes of traffic on N. Glebe Road and detained them. While conducting the investigation, Suspect One attempted to run from the scene while Suspect Two resisted arrest. With the assistance of an additional arriving officer, both suspects were taken into custody. Suspect One was transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation and during a search of his property, officers recovered narcotics. Darell Caldwell, 30, of Brandywine, MD was arrested and charged with Drunk in Public, Disorderly Conduct, and Possession of Controlled Substance I/ II. Suspect Two was evaluated by medics on scene and, during the course of the investigation, officers determined he was in possession of two concealed knives. Anthony Jeffers, 38, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Drunk in Public, Disorderly Conduct, and Possession and Concealing a Weapon by a Convicted Felon (x2).
The advanced life support ambulance Caldwell is accused of stealing and crashing into a dozen or so vehicles on I-395 and in Southwest D.C., meanwhile, is set to be repaired. The Arlington County Fire Department will utilize a spare unit until the ambulance, dubbed Medic 110, is back in service.
“The damage is repairable and depending on parts availability, should only take one to two months,” fire department spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner tells ARLnow. “We do have a reserve medic unit to use, as we have five spare ambulances in our fleet.”
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