Virginia man arrested, charged with kidnapping after police pursuit in Stafford County

Michael Harless

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Fauquier County man was arrested and charged with two counts of abduction and kidnapping, along with a slew of other charges after law enforcement in Stafford County say he eluded their capture in an attempt to avoid being arrested on pre-existing warrants.

The incident occurred around 4:45 p.m. Friday when officers responded to calls about a man urinating in public and throwing beer cans out of his truck while driving. Witnesses also observed the driver, Michael Harless run a red light and drive over a curb before parking illegally.

Deputies made their way through rush-hour traffic to catch up with the vehicle near North Stafford High School.

Deputies observed the vehicle failing to maintain its lane of travel and cross over the double yellow center lines before they initiated a traffic stop. The driver refused to stop and traveled through the high school campus. Deputies found out at this time that the registered owner of the truck was reported to have a suspended license and that he was wanted in three jurisdictions.

Eventually, the truck stopped at a traffic light and deputies approached the truck. At this point, two male passengers stepped out from the passenger door and were taken into custody without further incident.

The driver, however, stayed in the vehicle and fled the scene.

The passengers confirmed to deputies that the driver was Michael Harless. Both passengers said that they had begged Harless to pull over but he would not, as he knew he was wanted and would be required to serve eight years in jail if caught.

Harless eventually was stopped when deputies used Stop Sticks to puncture his truck tires and a rolling roadblock to pin his truck against a guardrail.

Once stopped, Harless emerged from the vehicle and fled on foot before a police dog brought him down. Deputies say the man actively resisted even as handcuffs were being applied. While waiting for a patrol vehicle, Harless briefly broke free again and ran a short distance before being apprehended again.

Eventually, he was placed in a patrol car before being transported to Stafford Hospital Center for treatment for the injuries he sustained during the pursuit.

Harless, 35, of Fauquier County, Virginia was charged with Eluding Police, two counts of Abduction and Kidnapping, Felony Hit and Run, Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Possessing a Vehicle with Altered Serial Number, Resisting Arrest, Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License and numerous other misdemeanors.

He is currently incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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