Committed to Excellence
Stafford County Sheriff's Office

Public Safety Center
Ford T. Humphrey Building

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 189
Stafford, VA 22555

Physical Address:
1225 Courthouse Rd.
Stafford, VA 22554


Stafford Alert

Special Event Informational Package & Application

Another Pursuit Arrest
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By Major Shawn Kimmitz
February 28, 2023

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s First Sergeant R.J. Grella, Jr. tracking down an eluding suspect in South Stafford yesterday morning.

On February 27th at 10:11 a.m. First Sergeant Grella was operating his assigned unmarked vehicle on Cool Springs Road when he observed a speeding Infinity Crossover. The vehicle passed First Sergeant Grella and was going approximately 70 mph in the posted 45 mph zone.

The Infinity stopped at the red traffic signal at White Oak Road and the First Sergeant called in the registration. The driver proceeded to change lanes at the red signal and the First Sergeant followed suit. The suspect countered the maneuver by backing up into oncoming traffic and then refusing to move forward when the light changed to green. Other drivers began voicing their displeasure with a cacophony of car horns.

First Sergeant Grella activated his emergency equipment and the suspect accelerated through the intersection to Deacon Road, initiating a pursuit. The chase went to the first crossover on Deacon Road and the suspect turned back towards White Oak Road. The suspect made a right turn onto Butler Road and drove to the rear of the Wawa. Obviously the suspect was unaware the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is the reigning Wawa Hoagie Building Champion of the area. As a side note, Wawa loosely translates to Canadian Goose, and this suspect’s goose was about to be cooked.

First Sergeant Grella remained at the front entrance (and only exit) of Wawa, awaiting the arrival of additional law enforcement. The suspect drove from the rear of the convenience store and ran the red light, exiting back onto Butler Road continuing the pursuit towards White Oak Road.

The pursuit continued to a right turn onto Cool Springs Road, where Deputy J.C. Curtis was stationed. The suspect made an abrupt U-Turn and went back to White Oak Road, into the parking lot of AutoZone. AutoZone has a rich history of going the extra mile, and our deputies went the extra two miles of this pursuit to take the suspect into custody.

The driver was identified as Joseph Harris, 22, of Colonial Beach. He was charged with felony eluding, reckless driving, and no valid driver’s license. He was held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail on a $5,000 bond.

As we said in our release Sunday morning, when you see flashing blue lights, slow down and pull over. Do not turn a traffic infraction into a felony arrest.

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