Arlington plea deal offers man two years for shooting from car while fleeing police

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

(Updated 5:32 p.m.) A man accused of shooting wildly at law enforcement following a destructive, high-speed chase through Arlington and Fairfax County accepted a plea bargain on Wednesday.

Ricardo Singleton, 29, admitted in Arlington Circuit Court to firing a gun from his car while fleeing authorities — a pursuit that prosecutors claim ended after a gunfight in Fairfax County.

Singleton’s plea calls for him to spend no more than two years behind bars in exchange for pleading guilty to felony eluding and shooting a firearm from a vehicle. The 17 months he has already spent in jail following his Oct. 6, 2022 arrest would apply toward his total time behind bars.

Virginia sentencing ranges are between one and five years of imprisonment for felony eluding and one to 10 years in prison for shooting from a vehicle. Both crimes also come with an alternative penalty of one year behind bars or a $2,500 fine, or both.

However, the sentencing guidelines — a recommendation set by the Virginia Sentencing Commission based on factors such as criminal history — are more lenient in this case, Singleton’s attorney, Adam Krischer, said in an email. Singleton’s sentencing guidelines are between one day and six months of imprisonment.

There is no agreement regarding suspended time, the amount of time Singleton would serve if he violated the terms of his release. His sentencing is set for May 3.

Although Singleton may only have up to seven more months behind bars in Arlington, he still faces charges in Fairfax County. He is scheduled to appear for a four-day trial beginning on May 20 for several alleged crimes, including reportedly opening fire on officers in a foot pursuit at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road.

In Fairfax, Singleton faces two counts of assault of a law enforcement officer, one count of attempted maiming and one count of using a firearm in commission of a felony.

Singleton’s confrontations with law enforcement began many hours before his eventual arrest, according to a timeline of events compiled by the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

A sheriff’s deputy approached the suspect after he reportedly made an illegal U-turn outside the Arlington County courthouse around 8:45 a.m. The timeline describes Singleton then pointing a firearm at the ceiling of his vehicle before speeding away, disregarding orders to stop and striking another vehicle. That evening, police spotted the suspect and pursued him through Arlington — a chase during which Singleton, by his own admission, fired multiple shots from his driver’s side window.

Law enforcement caught up to the suspect along Route 50 in Fairfax County after he reportedly struck so many vehicles, authorities were still tallying up the number when they hosted a press briefing several hours later.

Bystander footage released by the Fairfax County Police Department shows a man running out of a vehicle and turning backwards with a gun as police pursue him. The muzzle flashes and gunshots can be heard.

A Fairfax officer returned fire and was legally justified in doing so, a use-of-force review found.

Singleton was arrested after his gun reportedly jammed.

The suspect originally faced a slew of charges for his actions in Arlington: 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.

A judge dismissed most of these allegations after not finding probable cause, sources previously told ARLnow. The Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office altered Singleton’s charges in response to this ruling and a grand jury returned an indictment in December.

Prior to the plea bargain, Singleton faced an additional charge of shooting a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. Prosecutors dropped this charge as a condition of the agreement.