A handcuffed suspect took a police SUV in the District on Tuesday and struck several other vehicles during a chase through evening rush-hour traffic that finally ended with a crash in Northern Virginia, authorities said.
The pursuit came to a close at 5:35 p.m. on a ramp between King Street and Interstate 395, near the boundary between Arlington and Alexandria, where the stolen D.C. Housing Authority police SUV struck a D.C. police car, Virginia State Police said, that had been part of the chase. (Housing Authority police and D.C. police are separate agencies.)
State police said the driver of the SUV, Jessica M. Pierce, 26, of Stafford, Va., was taken into custody and treated at a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening. She was charged with one felony count of eluding police, one felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, one felony count of grand larceny, reckless driving and one misdemeanor count of giving false identification to law enforcement.
The incident began about 5:30 p.m. with an arrest by a Housing Authority police officer in the 2300 block of 11th Street NW, the authority said.
The suspect was handcuffed and placed in the back of a Housing Authority police SUV, a spokesman for the agency said.
But while the officer was outside the car, the suspect got into the front seat and drove off, authority spokesman Richard A. Smith said. He said that as he understood it, she took the wheel while still in handcuffs.
D.C. police chased the SUV into Northern Virginia, where it turned from southbound I-395 onto King Street, and then tried to enter the northbound lanes of the interstate, according to state police.
At the connecting ramp, it struck the D.C. police car, said Corinne Geller, a state police spokeswoman. She said the police car then pinned the Housing Authority vehicle against a barrier.
The D.C. officer driving the police car was unhurt, Geller said.
She said she knew of no other vehicles struck in Virginia during the pursuit. D.C. police said “multiple vehicles” were hit in the city. The exact number could not be learned, and it was not known whether injuries resulted.
Speeds in the chase were not known. But it appeared likely that thousands of motorists witnessed at least part of it.