UPDATE: Additional charges for Wednesday's I-81 police chase driver
UPDATE (Aug. 18):
Augusta County Sheriff Donald L. Smith said in a statement:
"On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 7:12 p.m. the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Interstate 81 South to assist with a pursuit that originated in Shenandoah County. Deputies from Shenandoah County and officers from New Market Police Department were attempting to serve a Capias from Shenandoah Circuit Court on William Walter Grim Jr. The listed charges were violate a stalking protective order and obstruction of justice by force. When the officers attempted to serve the warrant Grim struck a law enforcement officer, after telling the officers he was not going back to jail then sped off.
The pursuit entered Rockingham County and then into Augusta. Deputies from Augusta County got involved at the 227 mile marker south bound in Verona. Grim stopped his vehicle at the 225 mile marker and when the deputies exited their police cruisers Grim tried to run one of them over and sped off again. Deputies got him stopped a second time at mile maker 224.5, Grim immediately rammed a police cruiser that was still occupied by one of my deputies then put his vehicle in reverse and rammed a second police cruiser."
"Grim went back and forth between the two cruiser striking each of them twice. The deputies exited the vehicle and fired their weapons at Grim’s vehicle striking the tires in an attempt to disable the vehicle. Deputies used a rifle and impact weapons to knock out the windows of the vehicle. The officer from New Market deployed the Taser and the suspect was taken into custody. One of the Augusta County deputies and Grim were taken to Augusta Health and were treated for minor injuries and released.
Grim was charged for felony eluding law enforcement, four counts of assault and battery on law enforcement, and reckless driving. The warrant from Shenandoah County Circuit Court was also served. Additional warrants were served from Shenandoah County for felony eluding, assault and battery on law enforcement, and obstruction of justice. Grim is being held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail. The Virginia State Police, Augusta County Fire and Rescue, Staunton Augusta Rescue Squad, New Market Police all assisted with this incident."
Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter said in a statement:
"One common question from reporters involved the reasoning for Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office discontinuing the pursuit outside of New Market. SCSO policy allows sheriff's deputies and patrol supervisors the discretion to continue or discontinue a pursuit. These decisions are difficult and are based on a myriad of factors."
Sheriff Carter also wrote:
"Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office Investigators obtained three additional warrants for William Walter Grim Jr. —felony eluding law enforcement, felony assault of a law enforcement officer, and obstruction of justice. All charges are pending service by the Augusta County Sheriff's Office where Mr. Grim is currently in custody. Thank you, to the men and women of the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office staff for following through on this case, as well as the other agencies who assisted us during the incident."
UPDATE (9:40 p.m.):
The police roadblock has moved away and traffic is beginning to flow.
Meanwhile, the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office said this in a statement:
"Update on 16-42896 Today, William Walter Grim Jr. was released from RSW Regional Jail after posting a $4,000 bond. Shenandoah County Investigators obtained two felony capiases, one for Violation of Protective Order - Stalking (this incident occurred on 08/05/2016) and a second felony charge of Obstruction of Justice which was related to the earlier misdemeanor warrant of obstruction (written for the same incident but under a different subsection of the code - apparently the initial felony warrant request had been denied from a magistrate and was remedied after Investigators approached the Shenandoah Commonwealth's Attorney and a Circuit Court Judge)."
"Shenandoah County Investigators, Patrol Deputies, and New Market Police Officers attempted to serve these felony capiases on Mr. Grim, who had been located in New Market. Mr. Grim was uncooperative, attempted to flee and while doing so, struck one investigator in the leg with a tire from his vehicle, as he fled the scene. New Market Police and Augusta County Sheriff's Office were able to stop Mr. Grim in Augusta County. More details will be posted as they become available."
UPDATE (8:40 p.m.):
Witnesses say the suspect in the chase rammed law enforcement vehicles. Facebook Live Video shared by Matt Villani showed officers and/or deputies with guns drawn following the pursuit. Gunshots could be heard in the video.
While stopped in traffic due to the interstate closure, Villani told WHSV's Andrew Clay he ended up behind the chase while on his way to New Orleans. He said the chase happened at speeds around 70 m.p.h.
It is unclear who fired the shots in the Facebook video. Witnesses say the person taken into custody was an older man.
Villani told Clay he was scared as the incident unfolded. He said he thought about running away, but felt safer in his car.
There is no word on how long the southbound side of 81 will be closed. Traffic is moving slowly past the scene on the northbound side.
UPDATE (8:30 p.m.):
From just behind the police roadblock on I-81 SB, WHSV's Andrew Clay reported: "Augusta County Sheriff Smith said an older man wanted for felony threatening a judge was running from police. He rammed several police cars, even after he was stopped. One officer was taken to the hospital with a hand or wrist injury."
Multiple law enforcement agencies chased a suspect accused of assaulting a Shenandoah County Deputy through the Shenandoah Valley Wednesday evening.
Interstate 81 southbound was closed due to the incident at mile marker 224.3 around 7:30 p.m.
The chase began in the New Market area around 6:45 p.m. A Shenandoah County Sheriff's Deputy was allegedly assaulted by someone they were trying to pull over.
From there, the chase was on, and it could be seen on multiple VDOT traffic cameras throughout the Valley. Law enforcement chased a Dodge Avenger for approximately 40 miles. Sources indicate the suspect was taken into custody in the Staunton area.
We're working to confirm who exactly was being chased and what the driver may be charged with.
As soon as we know that information, we'll be sure to pass it along to you here.