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Fence-jumping reckless driver nearly hit people in shopping center parking lot, Vienna police say

A reckless driver allegedly nearly hit several people in the Maple Avenue Shopping Center parking lot (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Vienna police have identified the alleged reckless driver who was arrested last week after leading officers on a wild vehicle and foot chase.

John Thomas Prince IV of Haymarket has been charged with three felonies and four misdemeanors, for reckless driving, property destruction, eluding police, attempted unlawful entry and driving on a revoked license — and that’s just in Vienna.

Prince has also been served six outstanding warrants for petit larceny and concealing merchandise charges filed by Fairfax County and Prince William County police, as the Vienna Police Department noted in its weekly crime recap on Friday (April 21).

In a news release identifying Prince, the VPD shared today that he nearly hit “several citizens” with his vehicle while fleeing from police, who received a report of a reckless driver in the 300 block of Maple Avenue on April 18.

“At approximately 2:28 pm, an officer located a vehicle matching a lookout for a reckless driver,” the police department said. “The driver, later identified as John Thomas Prince IV, saw police and drove at a high rate of speed through a shopping center parking lot, almost striking several citizens.”

A VPD spokesperson confirmed that the parking lot was for the Maple Avenue Shopping Center anchored by Giant Food, CVS and Michaels.

According to police, a second officer joined the chase after seeing Prince’s vehicle in the Locust Street and Park Street SE traffic circle:

The second officer followed him onto Park Street SE and alerted nearby motor officers to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle eluded the motor officers and made a right turn onto Moore Ave S.E. An officer behind the suspect activated his emergency equipment and attempted to conduct a traffic stop with the suspect vehicle. The Officer followed until Mr. Prince jumped from the moving vehicle, leaving it running with a female passenger inside. The vehicle eventually stopped when it crashed into an unoccupied parked vehicle.

Witnesses advised a male subject jumped several fences of different residences and attempted to enter these residences. An additional officer responding to the scene saw Mr. Prince running through the front yard of a nearby home. The Officer ordered him to stop and was ignored. Mr. Prince attempted to enter the locked residence but was detained by officers.

Prince is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

“The Vienna Police Department would like to thank all the witnesses who remained on the scene to give statements, provide video evidence, and assist with this investigation,” the VPD said.

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