A Botetourt County deputy patrolling the northern section of the county last Tuesday night, Feb. 16, observed a red Ford Mustang traveling south on US 220, erratically swerving between lanes and straddling both lanes, according to a news release from Botetourt County Sheriff Matt Ward.
The deputy grew suspicious that the motorist might be impaired and turned on the vehicle about 10 p.m. The vehicle then made an abrupt lane change and turned onto Brughs Mill Road and accelerated to a high rate of speed. As the deputy caught up with the vehicle, the driver began to turn the headlights on and off. The deputy activated his emergency equipment in an effort to stop the vehicle. The driver refused to stop, turning off the vehicle’s headlights again.
The driver then got on I-81 at Exit 156, continuing to drive erratically and surpassing 100 mph. The Virginia State Police assisted in the pursuit, deploying spike strips around the 146-mile marker of I-81. The pursuit continued onto I-581 where the pursuit ended with the help of the State Police.
The driver refused to exit the vehicle, the news release said, despite efforts of law enforcement attempting to remove him. K-9 was deployed, removing the suspect from the vehicle. He was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Justin Denver Grant, 40, of Roanoke, was charged with felony eluding, driving under the influence, driving suspended, possession of a controlled substance, obstruction and assault on law enforcement. Grant also was charged with expired inspection and failure to obey highway markings. He was being held without bond in the Botetourt Craig Regional Jail.