Cop leaves DC movie set to chase stolen SUV suspect, stolen SUV catches fire after crash
WASHINGTON - The action at a movie set didn’t stop when the director yelled “cut” as a police officer working security for the film left the set at the National Mall to chase a stolen vehicle suspect, according to officials. The suspect later crashed in the District and the SUV erupted in flames, authorities stated.
U.S. Park Police said one of its officers was working an assignment at a movie shoot taking place on the National Mall early Thursday morning when a person ran up to the officer’s cruiser and stated their vehicle had just been stolen on 3rd Street, NW.
Authorities said the officer left the movie set and located the suspect in the stolen vehicle and began pursuing the suspect from 3rd Street, NW to 14th Street, NW and I Street, NW near the White House when the officer’s shift commander called off the chase.
That officer stopped chasing the suspect, but another officer located the suspect at the scene of a crash at 11th Street, NW and H Street, NW, just blocks from City Center, officials stated. Video from the scene shows the stolen SUV in flames following the crash.
A police report states the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Dustin Smith, fled the scene and attacked a bystander who attempted to help him.
Smith, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, was later confronted by officers and acted in an aggressive manner, the police report states. Smith was tasered and later taken into custody, according to the police report.
Police closed H Street, NW from 10th Street, NW to 11th Street, NW as they investigated. The scene has since been cleared and all lanes of traffic have reopened.