The Fairfax County Police Department is conducting an administrative review of a traffic stop on Richmond Highway this past weekend, video from which was posted on social media.
The woman who posted the viral video to Instagram on Saturday (Oct. 1) said she was on her way to Walmart to pick up food for her kids, who were in the car, when a police cruiser hit her vehicle “head on going 60 to 70 mph.”
“I’m sitting at the light, and he comes and hits me from the front, claiming that I was in a high-speed chase,” the woman said in the video. “I’ve been in the hospital, having my…baby.”
The car that the woman was driving had been reported in connection to a felony in Arlington, according to a FCPD statement posted Sunday night, and the occupants were listed as potentially “armed and dangerous.”
In her post, the woman says the officers pointed a gun at her and told her to put her hands outside the car window, “screaming that I could become a threat if I moved.” She and the kids were put in the back of a police vehicle, while police searched the car and verified her account.
The video shows the woman telling police that they “have the wrong person” and should call Inova Alexandria Hospital to verify that she was recently there. After an officer opens the back door of a police cruiser to let the kids out, the woman walks to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue ambulance and says she’s going to sue.
“Excuse my mouth, but stuff got me out of character today,” she said, acknowledging the profanity used throughout the encounter.
FCPD said Sunday that patrol officers had stopped a vehicle in the Mount Vernon area around 3:30 p.m. the previous day, but police say the officer who hit the woman’s car was traveling under 10 mph at the time of the collision.
The video shows a dimple on the car’s front bumper and a dent on the driver’s door. An FCPD spokesperson told FFXnow that the dent “was not from us,” according to a police supervisor, noting that the police cruiser had no damage.
Officers stopped the car because it matched a silver Nissan Altima that Arlington County had entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, according to FCPD.
“Officers verified the alert as a felony vehicle with occupants listed as armed and dangerous, traveling in the area of Richmond Hwy and South Kings Hwy,” the FCPD said.
According to the Arlington County Police Department, the vehicle had been entered into the NCIC after someone driving it fled from an attempted traffic stop near Crystal City for an expired registration.
At the intersection of Richmond Highway and 33rd Street S., the officer attempted a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The driver of the vehicle fled, ran two red lights, and exited Arlington County. The officer entered the vehicle into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for felony eluding with a request that the occupants be identified if the vehicle was stopped by law enforcement. The registered owner of the vehicle was determined to have multiple weapons offenses and was listed as possibly armed and dangerous. The investigation into the eluding is ongoing.
The FCPD spokesperson said that an officer pulled up in front of the car to box it in, and police instructed the driver to get out of the car while at gunpoint, describing that as standard procedure for a “felony traffic stop.”
Police confirmed that the woman had been in the hospital at the time of the crime and none of the passengers, including another woman and two children, had been involved in the Arlington incident. However, they also found that the woman didn’t own the car, so it was towed, the spokesperson said.
“Somebody else had access to that car while she was in the hospital, so she wasn’t involved with any of this,” police said. “But the car was listed as a felony vehicle with dangerous people inside, so our officers stopped the car, as they should, and made sure that the dangerous people weren’t inside the car.”
FFXnow contacted the woman but was unable to get comment by publication time. She told NBC 4 that it was a “very traumatic situation” and she wants an apology from FCPD, asking why police didn’t use their lights and sirens to simply pull her over.
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