Arlington County police efforts to apprehend three suspects resulted in $20,000 in damage to 11 vehicles on Rt. 1 in Alexandria.
The end of the chase came at the intersection of the service road into Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota and an entrance to Potomac Yard Shopping Center at around 1:45 p.m. on Feb. 9. Arlington County police were pursuing three suspects who were wanted in connection with three armed street robberies in the county.
Alexandria police officer Mark Bergin, became a participant in the apprehension. Bergin and four off-duty police and sheriff’s department volunteers were conducting a monthly child safety seat inspection in the parking lot of the Toyota dealership when they heard a crash.
“Unfortunately, hearing a crash at that intersection just isn’t that unusual so we didn’t think much of the initial crash until we heard more crashes and saw car parts flying through the air,” Bergin said.
The vehicle in which the suspects were driving came to a halt in the middle of the intersection and the three men got out of the car and began to run. Bergin and sheriff deputy sergeant Janice Parker O’Hara caught the driver and handcuffed him.
“I really didn’t know what was going on but I knew that I saw the driver commit felony hit and run so I concentrated on him,” Bergin said.
Alexandria police officer Renzo Torchiani and Sheriff’s Deputy John O’Hara caught a second suspect and took him into custody. “We caught the first two within a hundred yards of where the accident occurred,” Bergin said.
The third suspect, however, fled across the parking lot at Potomac Yard into the Barnes and Noble bookstore. Alexandria police officer Walter Powell, another of Bergin’s volunteers, assisted Arlington County police in apprehending the third suspect. All three men are facing a variety of charges in Arlington County.
In spite of the number of vehicles involved, there were only two minor injuries. A husband and wife from Maryland who occupied one of the vehicles were taken to Inova Alexandria Hospital where they were treated and released.
Bergin and his volunteers continued with their child safety seat checks. In all, they inspected 52 seats that day.
“It was an exciting day for us as our last day at Jack Taylor’s,” Bergin said. “We have outgrown the space there so we are moving our operation to Landmark Mall. Our first day there will be March 9.”