Alleged police impersonator arrested after chase along I-81

Courtesy: Botetourt County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Botetourt County Sheriff's Office(Botetourt County Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 11:01 AM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A driver faces several charges after a police chase along I-81 in Virginia Thursday.

Roberto Jasser Villarreal Rios, 39, of Elizabeth, NJ is charged with:

Throwing a Missile from a Vehicle (6 counts)

Felony Elude

Reckless Driving

Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer (2 counts)

Destruction of Property

Resisting Arrest

Impersonating a Police Officer

Virginia State Police got a call Thursday afternoon about a southbound SUV being driven recklessly, pulling a trailer on Interstate 81. The caller said the SUV was traveling with red and blue flashing lights coming from inside the vehicle. Troopers found the SUV at mile marker 158 and tried to stop the driver, who led police on a chase, according to police, who say the driver tried to elude police by speeding up, reaching speeds above 90 MPH and throwing things out of the SUV at the officers who were chasing him.

Police say the driver continued south into Roanoke County, then crossed the grass median at mile marker 144 and headed north on 81. Police ended the pursuit by flattening the driver’s tires near exit 150 (Troutville) on 81.

The driver got out of the SUV and followed police commands to get on the ground, according to police, who say as officers from Virginia State Police and Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office approached him, he began to resist. He was taken into custody after a short struggle, and taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries before being taken to jail.

Two officers received minor injuries during the arrest and were treated and released at the scene, according to police.

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