A police pursuit down Wisconsin Avenue on Tuesday resulted in a car theft suspect, seemingly boxed in just a block away from the District border, striking a citizen’s vehicle to get through Friendship Heights traffic and into D.C.
Officers pursuing the suspect had to stop the pursuit at the District line, another example of the challenge the Friendship Heights section of Chevy Chase presents to Montgomery County Police pursuing suspects fleeing across Western Avenue.
At about 2:39 p.m., the suspect in the stolen vehicle struck the citizen’s vehicle on southbound Wisconsin Avenue at the intersection with Willard Avenue, Montgomery County Police Officer and spokesperson Janelle Smith said. There were no injuries to the driver of the vehicle that was struck, Smith said.
It’s unclear if Metropolitan Police found the suspect or the exact manner in which the suspect nudged through traffic at the signalized intersection.
At the corner of Willard Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue, the driver of the vehicle that got struck told police how surprised she was when she was hit. An officer could be heard saying the suspect was boxed in before cars in front of it let it go by.
Multiple officers stopped their pursuit at Willard Avenue, where onlookers along the area’s high-end shopping district gathered.
After a smash-and-grab on April 30 at the Cartier jewelry store (5471 Wisconsin Ave.), 2nd District Commander Capt. David Falcinelli explained how Montgomery County Police must carefully weigh the seriousness of the crime against the legality and risk of entering another jurisdiction.
Capt. Paul Starks, a department spokesperson, said after that incident that unless the crime is violent, officers won’t cross into D.C. Fresh pursuits can be risky to officers and bystanders and liability concerns in another jurisdiction come into play.