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Cops: Chase suspect tried to escape in cab

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A vehicular chase suspect who later ran from officers early Wednesday was arrested in a cab he had hailed in a futile effort to escape, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.

Carlos Eligio Pedroza, 22, of Rockville, Md., was arrested and charged with felony eluding, felony hit and run involving an injury, felony destruction of property and failure to maintain control of a vehicle, according to a news release from Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron.

McEathron said the chase began at 12:30 a.m. when a deputy attempted to stop a 2000 Honda Integra headed east on Strasburg Road for reckless driving by speed.

McEatheron said the driver refused to stop for Deputy Robert Mumaw, and kept going east on Strasburg Road until Shenandoah Avenue, where he turned right and fled south.

In an interview Wednesday, Sgt. Joshua Seal, who backed up Mumaw, said Pedroza's
southbound car hit a fence at Randolph-Macon Academy, went down into a field and crashed at the intersection of Shenandoah Avenue and Kendrick Lane.

From there, Pedroza fled on foot and hailed a cab on Shenandoah Avenue around 10th Street, Seal said. Sheriff's deputies and Front Royal police then called cab companies asking if they knew of any passengers who could be the fugitive.

A cab company dispatcher notified police that a driver had a passenger who could be the suspect.

Police pulled the cab over for a traffic stop on South Royal Avenue near Criser Road. They found Pedroza sitting in the back seat, Seal said.

"He appeared to be surprised that we would be coming to do a traffic stop on the cab," Seal said.

McEathron said Pedroza's car was a total loss. A passenger in the car was taken to Warren Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released, McEathron said.

Pedroza is being held without bail in the Warren County Jail, McEathron said.

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