Citizens may sue D.C. after police use their cars as roadblock

(Photo: Brian Hopkins)

Some motorists are considering suing the District after police officers used the citizens' vehicles as a roadblock to stop a speeding driver.

On February 2, a chase began during the evening rush hour in Prince George's County and ended in Northeast D.C.

Maryland State Police say they got calls from drivers about a black Lincoln Navigator pickup driving erratically on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near Maryland State Route 212. Troopers began following the vehicle southbound on the Parkway to inbound Route 50/New York Avenue, at which point D.C. police joined the chase..

Police then stopped traffic at the intersection of Florida and New York Avenues NE, not far from Capitol Hill.

"The police cars blocked off the intersection and they just told us to wait," said Rochelle Smith, whose vehicle was damaged.

According to several motorists, they waited in their cars for more than 10 minutes. Police allegedly did not tell them why they were stopped.

However, several motorists had heard reports of the chase on the radio and knew it was heading their way.

"Then, all of a sudden, police came in a panic and they told us to get out of our cars," said a driver. Within seconds, the motorists saw the truck heading toward their parked cars.

Police used citizens' vehicles to stop the driver. When it was over, six vehicles were damaged, all while the owners of the cars watched helplessly from the sidewalk.

At the time, one police officer allegedly told a motorist, "Hope you have good insurance."

"The truck hit the cars and then panic started," said motorist Mustafa Khan.

According to a police report, the truck plowed through the first car.

There were no injuries reported and the driver was apprehended.