VBPD search for man who escaped custody

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) –  Police in Virginia Beach say a man placed in the back of a cruiser ran from officers early Thursday morning.

According to a press release from Officer Patrick Kane with Virginia Beach Police Department, officers observed a black Mercedes near 18th Street and Baltic Avenue “operating on a public roadway with defective equipment” shortly after midnight. Officers tried to initiate a traffic stop but the driver did not pull over, according to police.

Police later spotted a wrecked car a few blocks away. They say the driver ran from the scene. Officers gave chase and took the suspect into custody after a short foot pursuit, according to the release.

The driver, who police have identified as 44-year-old Johnny Rondell Caffee of Virginia Beach, was placed in hand restraints and put in the back of a police car. While officers were outside investigating the crash, they say Caffee ran away. He was last seen near 22nd Street and Mediterranean Avenue.

Officers say they are concerned for his safety because he was in handcuffs when he ran away.

They do not believe Caffee poses a threat to the public.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-5887) or text VBTIP plus your tip to CRIMES (274637).

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