HPD Cruiser Crashes In Downtown Chase

Mount Crawford Man In Custody

Posted: September 25, 2013

Officials investigate the scene where a Harrisonburg police officer crashed a cruiser into a tree on South Main Street near the Forbes Center while in pursuit of a motorist on Tuesday. The officer was not seriously injured. (Photo by Nikki Fox / DN-R)


HARRISONBURG — A car chase involving a Mount Crawford driver and Harrisonburg police ended Tuesday afternoon with the driver behind bars and a wrecked police cruiser.


Charles Richard Rose, 45, is charged with felony eluding, misdemeanor driving under the influence and misdemeanor driving with a suspended license.


Mary-Hope Vass, the city’s public information officer, said the pursuit began somewhere on South Main Street about 1:30 p.m. As of Tuesday night, the Harrisonburg Police Department had not released exactly where or why officers began chasing Rose’s blue Ford Mustang.


During the chase, one of the pursuing HPD officers crashed his cruiser into a tree on the side of South Main Street near the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts and across the street from the James Madison University Quad.


The officer driving the car — police have not released the name — was not seriously injured and no pedestrians or other motorists were hurt in the crash, which occurred in the southbound lanes of South Main.


A sport utility vehicle also was involved in the crash and sustained minor damage, police said.


Within minutes of the chase’s start, Rockingham County sheriff’s deputies caught up with the Mustang at the Wilco Hess gas station about a mile away in the 1400 block of South Main Street and arrested the driver, later identified by police as Rose.


As a matter of protocol, HPD’s accident reconstruction team investigated the crash involving the police cruiser.


During the crash investigation, the southbound lanes of South Main were closed at Grace Street for about three hours.


Traffic was diverted onto South High Street, with motorists able to return to Main Street at the Maryland Avenue intersection.


Rose is being held at Rockingham County Jail without bond.


He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance in Rockingham County General District Court today.


Anyone who may have seen the crash or the circumstances leading up to the wreck is asked to call HPD at 434-4436.


Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com

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