Police: 18-year-old identified in James River drowning after police chase

Teen suspect drowns trying to escape police

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Police say an 18-year-old male suspect has been identified after a water recovery in the James River following a police chase.

On Sept. 22, a Virginia State Trooper’s radar recorded a 2013 Honda Civic traveling at 101 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone on I-95. Police say the Honda had been reported stolen out of Richmond.

The Honda was traveling north and pulled off to the right shoulder near I-895 in response to the trooper activating his emergency lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop.

According to the investigation, as the trooper walked up to the Honda, it pulled away and sped north on I-95. A pursuit was initiated.

The Honda took Exit 69 for Bells Road in the City of Richmond. As it came through the exit ramp, the Honda crashed.

Police say a search for a juvenile in the James River is underway after a crash in Richmond.
Police say a search for a juvenile in the James River is underway after a crash in Richmond. (Source: NBC12)

Police say five juveniles jumped out and tried to take off on foot. One 14-year-old juvenile girl was caught immediately by the side of the road. Three of the suspects, all juvenile males, jumped in the river.

“This is a very dark stretch of the river and the woods," said Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police spokesperson. "They were able to make verbal contact with the individuals in the water. They were calling out to them. The troopers were trying to get them to come out of the water to them safely.”

According to the police, they were ordered to come out. Two of the juvenile suspects, both 16-years-old, surrendered, but the third refused. Police say they lost sight of the third male in the water.

Crews from Richmond Police, State Police, Chesterfield Police and Fire were on the scene assisting with the search. A state police helicopter scanned the river and sonar crews were called in to search the water.

Around 5:30 a.m., police say the juveniles’ body was located in the 4300 block of Deepwater Terminal Road. Police say the body was later identified as Mario Christian-Day, 18, of Richmond.

The fourth and final juvenile suspect, a 16-year-old from Richmond, was found in the nearby woods at approximately 6:40 a.m. All juveniles were returned to their legal guardians.

Virginia State Police say the Honda was reported stolen out of Richmond. Richmond Police said they did take a report on Friday, Sept. 4 for a motor vehicle stolen out of the 100 block of W. Commerce Street.

Charges are still pending as state police continue to identify the driver of the vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.