Chesterfield police chase ends in water rescue

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A bizarre water rescue this morning after Chesterfield Police attempt to stop a juvenile driver on a traffic stop. That driver led police on a chase that ended in the James River at the Robious Landing Park.

This afternoon, police report that a 17-year old male juvenile has charged with eluding police, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, and unlawful purchase and/or possession of alcohol.

Police say it all started this morning along Salisbury Road near Robious Road. Police tried to pull the driver over, but he didn't stop for the blue lights and the chase was on.

Police tell us the driver was going 71 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. It all ended about two and a half miles down the road.

"He came into Robious Landing Park, parked up against the river," says Lt. Clinton Schott with the Chesterfield Police Department.

Police believe a Ford Taurus to be involved in the chase. Our cameras caught what appears to be yellow paint on the bumper of the car. That paint may have come from the yellow pole the car stopped against. Then, police say the driver ran about 100 yards down a trail.

Despite warning signs near the James on the dangerous of swimming, the driver jumped into the water.

Police say that man was in the water for about 30 minutes. When the incident happened around 7:30 Thursday morning, it was 41 degrees outside. We wanted to test to see how cold the water is. Moments later, the water temperature is 50 degrees.

A Chesterfield firefighter, dressed in an exposure suit, went into the chilly water and rescued the driver. That rescue took about five minutes from when the firefighter entered into the river.

The driver of the car was taken to a local hospital. "His safety and his health are our primary concern," adds Lt. Schott.

Now police will be working with the driver of the car to find out why he led them on this pursuit and if any charged will be filed.

We checked in with the Chesterfield Police Department and they told us about their police pursuit policy. While we do not know the speed of the chase at this time, the Department has a strict policy regarding pursuits. They say several factors go into determining if the chase will go on, including but not limited to weather, traffic, road conditions, safety of others and more.

The pursuit is monitored by a field supervisor and is later reviewed to make sure all policies and procedures were followed.

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