Couple hit by fleeing suspect: "There were guns everywhere"

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by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 6:01 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Beach Police officers chased Walter Hubbard for ten miles Monday after he allegedly shot and killed a pharmacist who refused to give him addicting pain medication and then robbed a second pharmacy.

Monday's chase ended when the tires on Hubbard's car were deflated by spike strips. Hubbard then side-swiped one car before careening into a red Ford pickup driven by Larry and Jane Cutright.

"I thought he was going to roll, but he didn't," Larry Cutright said. "He came right into us."

The couple was driving to IHOP for lunch when they saw Hubbard's out-of-control car followed by dozens of police officers.

"I said, 'Well, he's going to get me.'  I just didn't know how bad it was going to be," Larry Cutright said.

Hubbard hit the driver's side of the Cutright's vehicle and was taken into custody by police within moments.



"There were guns everywhere and police were screaming for him to get out and get down and for us to get out of the truck and run," Larry Cutright said.

"He's laying right there looking at you and all the guns are there too," added Jane Cutright. "I said, 'They're gonna shoot! They're gonna shoot!' And that's when they told us to get out of there and run."

You can see a dent and scratches on the side of the Cutright's hood where police threw Hubbard against the vehicle and put him in handcuffs.

The only person hurt in the crash was Hubbard, which Jane Cutright said is a much better ending than what could have happened.

"In my mind, I see where he would've hit [my husband] and the car would have went up in flames," she said through tears.

The violent ending to yesterday's chase is a real-life example of how dangerous police pursuits can be.

The department's pursuit policy allows officers to pursue suspects who are believed to be armed and dangerous or who have committed a felony.

But a report analyzing the department's pursuits in 2013 shows a concerted effort to reduce the number of police chases officers initiate.

There were 29 pursuits in 2013, up from 26 chases in 2012. The number of pursuits has risen each year since 2010, but is still well below the 42 chases initiated by Virginia Beach officers in 2009, according to the report.

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