Off-duty D.C. policeman arrested following collision in Alexandria

Off-duty D.C. policeman arrested following collision in Alexandria
Police vehicles converge on the scene of the crash involving McCauley's Tesla. (Photo/Virginia Department of Transportation)

By Wafir Salih |

The Virginia State Police have charged Peter W. McCauley, an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department – the name of the District of Columbia’s police force – with a felony for eluding police following a high-speed chase on I-395. On the night of November 22, McCauley, who was off-duty at the time, was spotted by a State Trooper driving a Tesla at 95 mph in a 55-mph zone. The pursuit ended with a collision in Alexandria, resulting in multiple injuries. 

The VSP detailed the event in a statement, noting that “at 11:57 p.m. on [November 22], a Virginia State Police Trooper observed a Tesla traveling 95 mph in the 55-mph zone in the southbound lanes of Interstate 395 near the Arlington/ Alexandria line.” The trooper signaled McCauley to stop; however, McCauley refused to comply and fled the scene, leading to a pursuit. 

The chase concluded in Alexandria, where McCauley exited on I-395 by Seminary Road, ran a red light, attempted to make a left turn and crashed into a woman driving a Honda Civic. 

Footage of the chase and the subsequent collision has been released by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The video shows the moment McCauley struck the Honda Civic with his Tesla, which led to him veering off the road and hitting a wall. The footage also shows the Honda Civic hitting a light pole following the crash. 

The woman, 22, was taken to a hospital nearby where she was treated for minor injuries. 

McCauley, 25, along with a 28-year-old female passenger in the Tesla, were also taken to the hospital. McCauley underwent an evaluation for injuries, and the passenger was treated for minor injuries. VSP said in a statement that everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt at the time. 

MPD declined to answer questions from the Times on what disciplinary actions would be taken moving forward, citing “there is no further information to provide at this time.” The department did, however, respond with a statement saying they were investigating the matter and they were notified by VSP they had arrested McCauley. 

“MPD’s Internal Affairs Division responded and immediately revoked the officer’s police powers. The incident is under investigation by MPD’s Internal Affairs Division,” MPD said in a statement to the Times. 

In addition to MPD’s internal inquiry, the VSP has charged McCauley with a felony count of eluding police and has initiated a separate investigation into the incident. With both investigations ongoing, further details are expected to be revealed in the coming days.