Route 1 Police Chase Begins at Belle Haven Country Club, Ends Near Potomac Yard
A 'confused' woman slowly drove around clubhouse and along golf course for about 15 minutes before leading police on Route 1 pursuit into Alexandria.
A Fairfax County police chase involving a female suspect began on the grounds of the Belle Haven Country Club and ended on Route 1 near Potomac Yard Shopping Center in Alexandria on Tuesday afternoon.
Police were called to the Belle Haven Country Club just after 2 p.m. after reports of a woman in a Toyota stationwagon driving around the clubhouse, according to FCPD Officer Don Gotthardt. Officers attempted to stop the woman, but the suspect exited, turning onto Fort Hunt Road and then driving northbound on Route 1 into Alexandria.
"As far as I know there were two (police units) involved directly" in the pursuit, Gotthardt said. "And there's any number that could have followed but were not actively involved in the pursuit."
The pursuit came to an end just south of the Potomac Yard Shopping Center in Alexandria when police used a "precision immobilization" technique, where the police car disabled the suspect's car by edging it off the road.
An eyewitness standing in the shopping center parking lot near Target said after FCPD "curbed" the suspect's vehicle, she refused to exit her car, so police broke the driver-side window and pulled the suspect out.
According to Gotthardt, the only person injured in Tuesday's incident was the suspect, who was transferred to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Gotthardt said he wasn't aware of the speed or time length of the three-mile pursuit up Route 1. The suspect was apprehended at 2:15 p.m., he said, however, and police attempted a traffic stop at the country club at 2:11 p.m.
According to BHCC general manager Robert Gusella, the woman entered through the club's entrance on Fort Hunt Road and drove slowly around the clubhouse and along the golf course for about 15 minutes.
"I wouldn't even call it erratic driving," Gusella said. "All I saw was somebody that looked like they knew they were in the wrong place and didn't know how to get out."
Gusella said attempts to stop the woman and determine what she was doing were unsucessful.
"She didn't want to stop and talk about anything and ultimately drove out, and police pursued," he said.
Alexandria Police spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt said she didn’t believe the chase caused any damage as it ran through Old Town. She said the case is a FCPD matter.
During the pursuit, Gotthardt said there were reports of accidents involving citizens.
"I believe at least one was contacted by another police vehicle," Gotthardt said.
Route 1 northbound was closed from the Monroe Avenue Bridge to the first entrance of Potomac Yard Shopping Center around 4 p.m. as police recreated the scene where the chase ended.
No streets are closed as of 5 p.m., but rush hour traffic will most likely pass FCPD Crash Reconstruction and Internal Affairs, Gotthardt said.
"It's probably going to have an impact, but hopefully minimal," he said.
Patch will keep you updated on this developing story.