Speeding Teenager Runs Loose in River Farms

Speeding Teenager Runs Loose in River Farms

Christy Conner had to jump on the curb to get out of his way. Felix Lafuente tried to flag down the driver several times. Another resident was passed on the right by the car going 45 mph.

"We were all in the neighborhood in different places; at least 5-6 people witnessed it," Conner said.

She was referring to an incident on Monday, June 28, where a teenager decided to take his mother's car for a joy ride while she was cleaning a house in the development. Witnesses said that the boy was driving at speeds of up to 45 mph; it turned out that he was driving without a license.

This would be disturbing in any neighborhood, but even more so because it happened on Tis Well Drive in River Farms, the same neighborhood where a young boy was hit and killed by a bus on Sunday, June 14.

When the residents called police, Master Police Officer Steve Mattos responded and told them that he could not make an arrest because he had not seen the incident. Mattos suggested that the residents go to juvenile domestic court and swear out an affidavit. Several of them did that, but were told by the juvenile court that the officer had to complete the affidavit. The group then went to the Mount Vernon District Police Station to convey that information.

LAFUENTE SAID that he tried to stop the car but the boy kept going. When the boy finally did stop, several neighbors approached him. The boy was undaunted when they approached him, and allegedly threatened Lafuente by saying, "I'll be back for you tomorrow."

The boy has not returned, but in light of the recent bus accident, Lafuente and others are frustrated and concerned.

"If they [the police] don't want to do anything, what can I do?" Lafuente said. "I want to do something for my neighbor, but we were sent from office to office. I'm willing to do whatever they want."

Fairfax County Police Captain Larry Moser, commander of the Mount Vernon District Station, said that Mattos has since secured a petition and a court date has been set. Witnesses will be subpoenaed to testify in the hearing.

Conner said that when they spoke to the boy's mother, she at first said that she had given her son the keys to park the car; she later changed that story to say that she gave him the keys to sit in the car.

"He passed me at least four times. I was really afraid he wouldn't make it around the corner without hitting the curb," Conner said.