Chase ends in bridge accident

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Carrollton patrol had just begun

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Four juveniles and an 18-year old man were charged June 22 after a police chase ended in a three-vehicle accident on the James River Bridge.

The capture and arrest also came a day after the new Carrollton patrol was added by the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office — a move that cut down on response time, and in this case, a deputy was on the scene in two minutes, said Sheriff Mark Marshall.

The four juveniles were charged with possession of stolen property, a felony, and misdemeanor theft and eluding police.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The juvenile driver was also charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident where an injury occurred, also a felony. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The adult arrested in connection with the crime is Christian Chisley of the 2000 block of Effingham Street in Portsmouth. He was charged with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of stolen property, conspiring to commit larceny and receiving stolen property, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.

All the suspects are currently in detention or jail.

The car driven by the suspect hit two other vehicles as it approached the high-rise draw on the Newport News portion of the bridge, said Lt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. The car has been reported as stolen from Chesapeake. One person was injured and taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched shortly after 4 a.m. concerning suspicious activity in Eagle Harbor. A deputy on patrol in the area saw several individuals jump into a vehicle and flee, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.

Several of the suspects tried to flee on foot but were taken into custody by the Newport News Police, the Virginia State Police and the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. All appeared to be from Portsmouth.

Further investigation found that 12 vehicles in the Eagle Harbor neighborhood had been broken into. The suspects were taking anything of value in the cars, including cash and electronics, Potter said. However, deputies have not recovered much of the items and it is believed the suspects may have thrown them off the bridge during the pursuit, Potter said.

Thefts from vehicles are an ongoing problem in Isle of Wight County and other localities in Hampton Roads.

Investigators are working to see if these individuals are connected to similar crime in neighboring localities.

Law enforcement is tracking social media sites where individuals are posting messages calling on others to meet and break into groups to participate in criminal activity, Potter said.

Because of the widespread nature of the vehicle thefts, it could be connected to gang initiation, Potter said, adding that there was a similar rash of home burglaries in 2010 in Isle of Wight that turned out to be related to gang initiation.

It’s a quick way for juveniles to steal money and things people leave in their cars,” Potter said.

On a side note, the pursuit and capture occurred one day after the new Carrollton patrol was initiated, Potter said.

Earlier this year, Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall had asked the Board of Supervisors to fund five more deputies as a way to establish a regular patrol in the Carrollton area. The increased growth and traffic through that northern part of Isle of Wight has strained resources. Marshall was given the go ahead to hire two new deputies in fiscal 2017, which begins July 1.

While those new deputies have not yet been hired, school resource officers off for summer break were put on the Carrollton patrol, Potter said.

When a resident called around 4 a.m. a deputy was already in the area and was able to arrive on the scene within two minutes, Potter said.

Previously, the deputy could have been as far away as Rushmere and have taken considerably more time to arrive, he said.

Prior to adding the Carrollton zone, Isle of Wight was divided into three sections — the north, central and south. The north was the largest and stretched from Raynor and Pons to Eagle Harbor. Despite the size, most of the calls came from the Carrollton area. The new Carrollton zone is specific to that more populated northern part of Isle of Wight County.

The new Carrollton patrol zone includes the entire Route 17 corridor from the James River Bridge to the Crittenden Bridge, as well as Brewer’s Neck Boulevard and east to Chuckatuck, as well as Battery Park and the Nike Park area, Marshall said.

“It’s substantially smaller than it was,” he said.

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents to remove money and valuables from their vehicles and to lock it. If valuables must be kept in the vehicle, put them in the trunk. Also, be aware of where the car is parked and whether lighting is available.

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office also urges residents to call 911 if they see something suspicious.

Residents know when something is amiss in their neighborhoods, and in this case, a resident called to report what he thought was suspicious, Potter said.

Report criminal activity in your school or neighborhood anonymously and earn a cash reward of up to $1,000.  Call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.   {/mprestriction}