STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. - A Stafford County man is being called the "Smirking Speeder" after he led police on a high-speed chase in broad daylight before crashing and attempting to flee the scene.
Around 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, a Stafford County Sheriff’s deputy was driving in an unmarked car on I-95 near the 141-mile marker when he saw a black Mercedes on the shoulder behind him approaching at a high rate of speed. Another deputy was traveling southbound on I-95 in a marked police motorcycle.
It appeared the driver of the Mercedes noticed the law enforcement motorcycle and entered the flow of traffic right in front of the unmarked patrol vehicle.
As the suspect pulled even with the deputy on the motorcycle, both deputies activated their emergency equipment to conduct a traffic stop.
According to deputies, the suspect looked over and smirked before rapidly accelerating and a pursuit began. They say the suspect reached speeds over 110 mph, once again using the shoulder to skirt around other cars.
As deputies set up to deploy spike strips, the suspect took the Centreport Parkway exit and headed toward Mountain View Road but took a 90-degree curve too fast and struck an oncoming car, disabling his vehicle.
The driver and a passenger fled from the damaged vehicle on foot. Deputies set up a perimeter, a surveillance drone was called in and K-9 teams were deployed.
Within five minutes, both the driver and passenger were taken into custody.
The driver was identified as Daniel Nunez Mendozo, 25, of Woodbridge. He was charged with felony eluding, felony hit-and-run, reckless driving, driving suspended, no insurance, and fictitious registration. Nunez Mendoza is being held without bond.
The passenger was identified and released.
The occupants of the vehicle that was hit by the suspect were transported to the hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries.