A 26-year-old man is under arrest after police say he crashed into two different vehicles on Interstate 495 and then punched the drivers in order to carjack the vehicles.
The suspect has been identified as Matthew Lee Dabney. He was taken into custody in Maryland and later charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
The first incident happened Wednesday around 2:15 p.m. Virginia State Police received a call about a woman on the side of the Capital Beltway near mile marker 53 in Fairfax County. The woman was kneeling on the shoulder holding a dog and flagging down drivers, a news release said.
The woman told troopers that she was driving her SUV on the southbound lanes when her vehicle was struck by the driver of a Toyota Camry. They both pulled onto the shoulder, and when the driver walked up to her SUV, he punched her in the face, pulled her from her vehicle and then took off in her SUV.
“She hadn’t even really gotten a chance to call 911 to report the crash, it just happened so fast as soon as they pulled off onto the shoulder,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said. “In these circumstances, if you feel threatened or you don’t feel safe at a crash scene, you can remain in your vehicle until law enforcement arrive on scene.”
During the investigation, another vehicle pulled onto the shoulder and a man got out and told police that his vehicle had been struck. When he pulled over, the driver of the striking vehicle punched him and tried to take his vehicle.
Police said the man’s description matched the woman’s description of the person who took her vehicle. Maryland authorities then notified Virginia State Police that they found the woman’s SUV that had been reported stolen.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.