Video appears to show Virginia State Police chase off-duty DC officer; felony charges filed

Virginia State Police have arrested a D.C. police officer who was allegedly caught on camera evading troopers before crashing into another vehicle on Thanksgiving Day morning.

D.C. police said Officer Peter McCauley, a 25-year-old Alexandria resident and member of the police force since June 2020, was taken into custody in Virginia after what the department characterized as “a traffic accident causing injury.”

The incident began just before midnight Wednesday while McCauley was driving a Tesla on Interstate 395, near the border between Arlington and Alexandria, according to a statement from Virginia police. At the time, police said, McCauley was speeding down the interstate at 95 mph, 40 miles over the posted speed limit.

“The state trooper activated his vehicle’s emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop,” department spokesperson Corinne Geller told WTOP. “The Tesla refused to stop and sped away from the trooper.”

Virginia State Police said that McCauley exited I-395 at Seminary Road in the City of Alexandria and failed to stop at a red light on the exit ramp. The D.C. officer struck a Honda Civic, which struck a Jersey wall and lamp post. McCauley’s Tesla also struck the wall, bringing the chase to a close.

Video from safety advocate and former reporter Dave Statter at STATter911 and appears to show the moments police chased McCauley and concludes as police respond to the crash.

Department officials said that McCauley and a 28-year-old female passenger were taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment of injuries. The 22-year-old woman driving the car struck by McCauley was also taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. All three are expected to survive the crash.

McCauley faces a felony charge for eluding Virginia police.

A statement from the District obtained by WTOP, and first reported by NBC Washington, confirmed that the officer had been arrested for his part in a traffic incident in Virginia.

“McCauley was off-duty and in a personally-owned vehicle at the time of the crash,” D.C. police said.

The department’s Internal Affairs Division “has revoked the officer’s police powers and placed him on non-contact status” while it investigates the incident.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up