UPDATE: Police chase van with three kids on board

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Three children are home safe after a wild ride that ended in someone's front yard. Those kids were the passengers in a van, driven by a man trying to get away from police.

The chase started at a shopping center in the 4800 block of Nine Mile Road. It ended just a few miles down the road, and required police to intervene.

Henrico police arrested the driver, Eddie H. Otey, 48, of the 400 block of Bancroft Street in Richmond. He was charged with three counts of child neglect, assault on an officer, eluding and larceny.

Authorities had no idea three kids were in the van when they took off in pursuit of a man, accused of stealing more than $200 worth of goods from a nearby store.

Henrico Police thought it was going to be a simple call. However when they confronted a suspect accused of stealing from a local store, things got complicated.

"When the officer grabbed him to apprehend him he pushed the officer and jumped back to his van and drove off," said Henrico Police Lt. Eric Owens

That suspect had already led police on a foot chase before getting back in this van and taking off.

After what officers describe as a "low speed chase" they decided to take control of the situation.

"Once they got to a safe location whereas the officer could conduct a deliberate contact maneuver," said Owens.

In other words, they pushed the van off the road. That move sent the van through a fence and it didn't stop until it was just a few feet from the front door of a home.

But a broken fence and a messy front yard turned out to be only part of the problem. After the van stopped, police discovered three kids were on board.

"The officer had no idea the children were in the vehicle. If he had, deliberate contact would not have been initiated," Owens said.

The kids were okay, but the driver of the van, Otey, who was also carrying two other adult women, is in plenty of trouble.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.