Shaun Donald Witt, 19, of 2721 Omisol Road hit Officer Matt Jacques with his mother’s minivan early Thursday morning, according to Detective Dennis Mangan, Prince William County Police spokesman.
“[The officer] was hit hard enough that his equipment flew off his belt,” Mangan said.
Jacques was responding to a report that Witt had stolen the minivan.
Standing on the side of the road, Jacques, who knew Witt, tried to flag him down. Instead of pulling over, Witt hit him, knocking him into a ditch, Mangan said.
Mangan said Jacques’ injuries did not require hospitalization. The officer was treated and released.
“This is an example of the risk that an officer faces. Often, when officers are injured, it’s in response to a routine matter. Officer Jacques had dealt with Witt before and had never had a reason to fear him,” said Prince William Police Chief Charlie T. Deane.
Witt sped away after hitting Jacques. Finding himself cornered at the end of a nearby street, Witt drove the minivan into a patrol car, knocking it out of the way, police said.
Prince William Police then chased the minivan up Interstate 95 into Fairfax County.
Witt was stopped by Virginia state troopers on I-95 around Edsall Road. Two state trooper vehicles were hit, according to state police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
The two troopers –Mike Walter and Eric Penree –suffered only minor injuries.
Prince William Officer Brian Helbert cut his arm while trying to pull Witt out of the minivan.
“I think we are lucky that no one was seriously injured,” Deane said.
Witt is charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer and use of a vehicle without permission.
Mangan said more charges are expected.
Staff writer Chris Newmarker can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 119.