RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A man was taken into custody and faces multiple charges after driving onto Virginia State Capitol grounds and leading police on a foot chase Tuesday afternoon.
Police tell 8News the suspect, identified as John F. Landers II, drove through the main gate at around 3 p.m. and forced an officer to jump out of the way as the car approached the Executive Mansion while speeding.
After coming to a stop in front of the steps to the entrance of the Capitol building, the shirtless suspect then exited the vehicle and fled on foot down the hill towards Bank Street before being apprehended roughly 500 feet away.
Landers, 29, was detained on charges of assault on a law enforcement officer, driving on a revoked license, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying an open container of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs.
RAW: Suspect apprehended after driving onto Virginia State Capitol grounds
A K-9 unit inspected the vehicle, which came back clean, according to police.
Police spokesman Joe Macenka said Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife were in Richmond and in and out of the Executive Mansion all day.
Surveillance video released by Capitol Police on Wednesday shows the vehicle come to a half on the South Portico — which is off-limits to cars — much to the surprise of two people nearby who quickly flee up the stairs.
Police said Tuesday’s events will provide them ‘plenty of opportunities to see how we can better serve those who work in, live in and visit the grounds.’
“We are always evaluating our situational awareness and how we can improve it,” Capitol Police spokesperson Joseph Macenka said in a statement.
Macenka added that extra security was already scheduled for Wednesday night’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
CORRECTION: Police said this incident was NOT a police chase, that the suspect drove through the gate on his own.
8News has a crew headed to the scene. Check back for updates.