Man With Tot in Van Hits Truck, Tries to Jump Off Bridge

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 25, 2009

A man accompanied by his 3-year-old son led police on a chase through Prince George's County and into the District on Thursday afternoon, ramming a tractor-trailer and a police cruiser before he bailed out of the vehicle and tried to jump off a bridge, authorities said.

The chase started just after 11:20 a.m. near Route 450 and 62nd Avenue in the Bladensburg area when police tried to pull over a van for a routine traffic violation. The vehicle didn't stop. Instead, its driver struck the tractor-trailer and cruiser, then sped away from the officers in pursuit, authorities said.

As police followed the van to New York Avenue, they noticed objects flying out its windows. Police later determined the objects were bags containing a "substantial amount of drugs," said Cpl. Mike Rodriguez, spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department.

He said police enlisted the fire department's help in retrieving some of the drugs from the Anacostia River.

At the bridge on New York Avenue, Rodriguez said, the man got out of his vehicle and tried to jump. Officers got to him first and arrested him after a brief struggle. It was then they discovered his son -- apparently unharmed during the chase -- in the van, Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that he did not know where the child was sitting in the vehicle but that police recovered a car seat. He said the man, whom he did not immediately identify, is in the custody of D.C. police.

The officer whose vehicle was rammed sustained minor injuries, Rodriguez said.

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