(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Arlington police are still searching for a man who drove the wrong way on I-66 Sunday (July 8) and caused a major accident before fleeing the scene.
County police have charged 28-year-old Victor Ebai of Springfield with felony hit and run and eluding police in connection with the incident, which ended only after he crashed head-on into another car near Rosslyn on I-66.
Police subsequently revealed Monday (July 9) that officers pulled another man from Ebai’s vehicle after it caught on fire following the crash. The passenger was transported to George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says police are not planning to charge the passenger with a crime. U.S. Secret Service spokesman Shawn Holtzclaw added that his agency isn’t pursuing charges against the man either. Neither would say if police believed the man was in the car voluntarily or against his will.
Holtzclaw also confirmed early reports that the victim in the head-on crash was a federal government worker who was heading to work in D.C. at the time of the crash. They’re withholding the victim’s identity, but did say they were taken to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Multiple agencies, including the Secret Service, are on the scene of this crash on I-66 EB in Arlington. An official tells @fox5dc one of the people involved was a "White House military pass holder." Meanwhile, a helicopter has been searching for a driver who fled the scene. pic.twitter.com/MR7O8J825O
— Anne Cutler (@AnneCutler) July 8, 2018
The Secret Service is involved in the investigation because the incident started when one of its agents noticed a red Chevrolet Sonic driving the wrong way early Sunday morning on I Street NW in D.C. The agent tried to pull the driver over, but he kept driving, continuing to drive against traffic in the eastbound lanes of I-66.
The two cars collided shortly afterward, prompting a large emergency response. Police believe Ebai managed to flee the area on foot, escaping despite a search for Ebai that involved the Fairfax County police helicopter.
Arlington County police are leading the investigation into the incident.
Photo via Google Maps
Update at 1:40 p.m. — The Arlington County Police Department has released a description of the man that police say attempted to sexually assault a woman in the Arlington Mill neighborhood this morning.
Police were unable to find the suspect despite an extensive search. More from an ACPD press release:
At approximately 9:05 a.m. on April 20, Arlington County Police were dispatched to the report of a late assault in the 800 block of S. Frederick Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., an unknown male suspect forced entry into a residence, brandished a knife and attempted to sexually assault the female victim. The victim suffered minor physical injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The suspect fled the area prior to police arrival.
The suspect is described as a black male, 20-30 years old, approximately 5’7″ tall with short cropped hair. He was wearing a black shirt and black jeans at the time of the incident.
Detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers established a perimeter, canvassed the area and spoke with possible witnesses. Arlington County canine units attempted a track of the suspect and the Fairfax County Police Helicopter Unit provided an aerial search with negative results. Officers will continue conducting extra patrols in the area.
If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective J. Echenique of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4241 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Earlier: Police are actively searching for a suspect following an attempted sexual assault this morning.
A man armed with a knife strangled and tried to sexually assault a woman in the Arlington Mill neighborhood, according to scanner traffic. A responding officer reportedly spotted a man matching the description of the suspect, but he was able to flee on foot.
Police officers, a K-9 unit and the Fairfax County Police Department helicopter are now searching the wooded area around Glencarlyn Park for the suspect.
Campbell Elementary School has been secured while the search is in progress.
Suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’7” tall with short cropped hair. He was wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 20, 2018
Campbell is on Secure the Building due to police activity in the community. Students are having regular classes and a SRO is present.
— Maureen Nesselrode (@CampbellAPS) April 20, 2018
The police have been searching a grassy area near this playground. pic.twitter.com/WchzWnRxxJ
— Tim Barber (@ABC7TimBarber) April 20, 2018
Photo via Google Maps
Update at 9:30 a.m. — The suspect has been found hiding under a car in the area of N. Quinn Street and 18th Street N. and has been taken into custody, according to scanner traffic.
Update on 1/19/17 — Virginia State Police have issued the following updated statement regarding the chase and the suspect’s apprehension.
At 8:48 a.m., Wednesday (Jan. 18), Virginia State Police Sgt. C.J. Szupinka was conducting stationary HOV enforcement when he observed a 2005 Ford Focus entering the eastbound I-66 HOV lane at the 71 mile marker. The Ford was in violation of the HOV+2 regulation, as it had only one occupant. Sgt. Szupinka motioned to the driver, John R. Johnson III, to stop. Johnson pulled over in front of the sergeant’s patrol car. But as the sergeant approached on foot, the Ford kept rolling forward and then pulled away and into the mainlines of eastbound I-66. A pursuit was initiated with the Ford reaching speeds of up to 100 mph.
The Ford Focus took Exit 73 and due to its reckless driving and speed, the sergeant discontinued the pursuit for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Minutes later the vehicle was located abandoned on Nash Street near Lee Highway. The keys were still in the ignition and the engine was still running when the sergeant found it. Johnson had fled on foot.
With the assistance of Arlington County Police, State Police set up a perimeter and began searching for the subject by foot and through the use of a Virginia State Police K9 team. At 9:27 a.m., Arlington County Police discovered Johnson hiding under a vehicle in a parking garage near 19th and Quinn streets. Johnson was taken into custody without further incident.
Johnson, 44, of Maryland, was charged with one felony count of eluding police, reckless driving, the HOV violation and driving on a suspended license. He is being held without bond at the Arlington County Jail.
Earlier: Police have swarmed the area around N. Nash Street and the Holiday Inn hotel in Rosslyn to search for a driver who led Virginia State Police on a morning rush hour chase.
Initial reports suggest that state police were pursuing the suspect on I-66 for an HOV violation. The suspect exited the highway at Rosslyn and bailed out near the hotel.
Police are establishing a perimeter as they try to locate the suspect, who’s described as a black male wearing jeans and a gray hoodie.
Photos by Samantha Moore