It began yesterday as a routine traffic stop in Fairfax County, but within minutes a police helicopter, more than a dozen officers from four jurisdictions, specially trained dogs and U.S. Air Force security police were on the trail of the runaway driver.
Even U.S. Secret Service agents were monitoring the arrest by the time the driver was found under a bush in the woods at Andrews Air Force Base.
He had run into the woods minutes before President Carter was due to arrive at Andrews to board Air Force One, according to Maryland State Police.
Police identified him as Francis Edward Harrison, 20, of Keningston.
The driver "just messed up when he went onto federal property," said Fairfax County Police Pvt, J. N. Kreticos, who had pulled him over on Rte. 1 in Fairfax County when he noticed a broken rear window on the man's Pontiac.
The driver, who had two passengers, allegedly pulled over, but then sped off, and Kreticos and another officer chased him at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour, and he crossed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into Maryland, Kreticos said.
Maryland State Police joined the chase that ended when the runaway driver went over an embankment off Old Branch Road near the Air Force base, state police said.
He allegedly jumped from the car and ran into the woods. By this time, the helicopter was hovering overhead and officers from Prince George's County and Virginia State Police had arrived.
Maryland State Police and Air Force security police converged on the wooden area.
Harrison was charged with several motor vehicle violations stemming from the chase. Police said there were six misdemeanor arrest warrants in Maryland and two in Virginia outstanding against him.