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Grand jury returns indictment for wild chase through Arlington and Fairfax County

Police looking for evidence where shots were fired along S. Wakefield Street in Barcroft (staff photo)

A grand jury has returned an indictment for a man on felony charges in connection to a wild police chase in October 2022.

The indictment against Ricardo Singleton, returned last Monday, included charges for eluding police and shooting a firearm from a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a school. They follow a bizarre crime spree for which Singleton was arrested on Oct. 6, 2022.

The man allegedly made a U-turn in front of Arlington County police headquarters in Courthouse and brandished a gun at a sheriff’s deputy, later fleeing and striking a parked car. That evening, police chased the suspect vehicle through Arlington — where shots were fired along a residential street — and into Fairfax County. Singleton was arrested after his gun reportedly jammed.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano subsequent compiled a detailed timeline of the events. His use-of-force review found that a Fairfax officer fired shots at Singleton, but the officer acted properly in doing so.

Singleton had a court hearing in Fairfax General District Court this March. He was charged with three counts of attempted maiming of law enforcement officers and one count of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The court certified all these charges to Fairfax County Circuit Court. His trial in Fairfax is set to begin on May 20, 2024, according to Laura Birnbaum, the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Deputy Chief of Staff.

On Oct. 24, Singleton had a hearing in Arlington General District Court on a slew of charges: three counts of assault on law enforcement, two counts of eluding police, brandishing, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, reckless handling, endangerment and damage exceeding $1,000.

The Arlington court dismissed most of the charges after not finding probable cause, the standard of proof required for an indictment, sources say. To convict Singleton, the Commonwealth’s Attorney would have to meet a higher standard of proof, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” that he committed the crimes.

A felony eluding charge, meanwhile, was certified to Arlington County Circuit Court.

Last week, Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti presented the court with new felony charges — including shooting a gun from a vehicle, near a school — for which she says there is stronger evidence.

Felony charges against Ricardo Singleton (via Virginia Courts Case Information)

If he is found guilty, Singleton could face 2-10 years in prison for shooting a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school and 1-10 years for shooting a weapon from a car, according to state sentencing guidelines. The eluding police charges come with a jail sentence between 1-5 years.

On most of the charges — save for the one involving shots fired near a school — a jury or the court can opt for fewer than 12 months in jail, tacking on a $2,500 fine.

His next court appearance is today (Monday).

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