PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – A Petersburg man is accused of ramming a police cruiser and leading officers on a high speed chase. The pursuit spilled into several jurisdictions and left an officer with minor injuries.
19-year-old Gene Browder Jr. faces a number of charges including assault on a police officer, eluding police, and destruction of property. It started at the Country Aire Mobile Home Park in Prince George County.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday police say they got multiple calls from residents at the park -- complaining of someone driving recklessly, spinning their tires and doing donuts in a nearby field. Neighbors say the driver was out of control.
"It was dangerous. He was just tearing the neighborhood up. Coming through with lights out - literally jumping the speed bumps," said neighbor Michael Cocleaser.
When police spotted the vehicle Browder was driving he took off.
"The car was speeding up and officers behind him and we stood here on the porch and watched him go up and down the street, and the police were chasing him," said neighbor, Karen Williams.
Police say Browder rammed a police cruiser from behind to avoid being captured.
"The officer whose vehicle was struck suffered some back injury," said Captain Kenny Williams.
Officers threw down spike strips at least four times in an effort to stop Browder.
"He actually drove completely off the road and up an embankment to get around the spike strips," said Williams.
The chase spread through several localities including Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Chesterfield. Speeds reached 80 miles an hour. After about a half hour or so the chase ended at Appomattox River Park in Dinwiddie County. Police say the vehicle Browder was driving was stolen out of Chesterfield and that Browder had drugs.
Police also say Browder was driving on a suspended license. He's being held at Riverside Regional Jail. Browder could face additional charges in other localities. Police say it's unclear why he was in that mobile home park early Wednesday morning.