Longo responds to 85mph Rugby Road police pursuit

After the Hook posted the dashboard camera video of a police pursuit which reached speeds as high as 85mph on a residential Rugby Road, Charlottesville police Chief Longo responded to concerns expressed in the article and by readers unsettled by the video which shows–- contrary to early reports of a chase halted for safety–- a chase that resulted in a spectacular accident which scalped a house but produced no injuries.

"By the Grace of God no one was injured," says Longo, addressing the case Monday in a letter to the Hook accompanied by a copy of CPD pursuit policy.

Longo concedes that the pursuit raised a pair of concerns–- particularly the speed–- but that dry pavement, the late hour, and the absence of pedestrians weighed against letting the thief speed away into the night during the nearly 2:30am August 7 incident.

"I find the officer’s actions to have been reasonable based on the totality of the circumstance," Longo wrote. "Had this occurred at 2:30 in the afternoon when traffic conditions were different, I may not have come to the same conclusion."

The video-accompanying story, posted Friday, October 30, in which a nearly-killed homeowner takes a differing view, has been updated with Longo's viewpoint.