Police gave chase to a Prince George's County Council member allegedly going at least 100 miles per hour on the Beltway - but when Karen Toles was finally pulled over, she was only given a $90 fine and a warning.
It began last Wednesday just after noon. A police officer on the inner loop of the Beltway spotted a county-owned Ford SUV allegedly traveling more than 100 miles per hour and recklessly changing lanes.
The officer flipped on his flashing lights and began a pursuit. His dash cam recorded speeds of 105-108 miles per hour as he tried to catch up to the SUV, police say.
The officer followed the SUV off the Beltway and through two traffic lights before the SUV pulled over.
By then, the SUV was surrounded by officers, some with guns drawn. The driver identified herself as District 7 Councilwoman Karen Toles.
According to multiple sources, Toles was belligerent toward officers and repeatedly cited her post within the government.
Eventually the officer who initiated the traffic stop issued a $90 ticket for unsafe lane change and a warning for going 105 in a 55 mile per hour zone.
"If you want people to vote for you, you got to represent yourself. And for them not to give her a ticket. If it was me I'd be in jail," said Gary Jones, Prince George's County resident.
Prince George's County police issued this statement on the incident:
The issuance of a warning citation for the speed is consistent with the typical discretion applied by police officers to speeding motorists. The traffic violations were captured on the police officer's in-car camera, and the incident will be subject to command review. At the moment, the video is evidence in a pending District Court traffic case, and will not be released.
Sources said the officer was within his rights to exercise discretion and not issue Toles a speeding ticket.
"Something is not right. Something is just not right about this," said Harold Little, Prince George's County resident.
In a statement released by Toles, she gave this explanation:
On February 22 I received a citation for an unsafe lane change and a warning for speeding. I was leaving a meeting and was late for my next appointment. I consider moving violations serious matters and I regret the incident. I intend to pay the appropriate fine for these traffic violations.