Man arrested after wild chase from Augusta County into Staunton

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — A Staunton man faces multiple charges after allegedly leading police on a wild chase Friday night.

Johnathan Lee Coffey, 22, of Staunton | Mugshot provided by Middle River Regional Jail

According to the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, 22-year-old Johnathan Lee Coffey, of Staunton, was arrested Friday night and charged with felony eluding, felony assault on a police officer, obstruction of justice, speeding, and driving on a revoked license.

Deputies say it all started at 7:53 p.m. Friday night when a deputy on patrol along Morris Mill Rd., near Apple Hill Estates, saw a black 1998 Honda Civic heading west toward Frog Pond Rd. at 62 mph in a 45 mph zone.

The deputy turned around to pull the vehicle over, but as he did so, he noticed smoke and skid marks on Frog Pond Rd. toward Churchville Avenue, where the driver had just headed.

From about half a mile away, the deputy saw the car speeding away on Frog Pond Rd. He activated his lights and siren and initiated pursuit, following the car as it turned onto Rt. 250 (Churchville Ave.), lost control, and entered a ditch on the side of the road.

But as the deputy closed in on the Civic in the ditch, it re-entered Rt. 250 and fled toward Staunton at speeds nearing 80 mph.

At that point, the deputy was joined by a second deputy and the chase entered the City of Staunton.

The sheriff's office says the Honda ignored several stop signs through neighborhoods and ended up on West Beverley St. heading east at around 50-60 mph. When the car then ran a red light and continued driving recklessly, the deputy discontinued pursuit.

However, he deactivated his lights and siren but continued to observe the vehicle from afar. After watching it turn right on Hays Street from West Beverley Street, the car seemed to slow down with mechanical issues.

Following at a safe distance with his lights and siren deactivated, the deputy watched the car turn right on Montgomery Avenue and then take a left onto Lacey King Way.

By the time the deputy got to the intersection of Lacey King Way and Middlebrook Avenue, the car had collided with a white 2005 Honda Civic that had been driving along Middlebrook Rd.

The deputy arrived just as Coffey was allegedly attempting to exit his car and flee on foot.

Catching up with him, the deputy tried to apprehend him, but after a physical struggle and an attempt to use a Taser, the sheriff's office says Coffey assaulted the deputy and took off running.

With the help of one of the passengers from the white Civic that Coffey had allegedly struck, the deputy chased him down and and apprehended him. Another deputy arrived, and they took Coffey into custody.

Coffey was taken to Augusta Health and treated and released for injuries from the crash.

A 30-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man that had been in the white Civic were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Virginia State Police and Staunton police helped with the pursuit and the Staunton Police Department handled the collision investigation. Coffey will face additional charges.