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Man in custody after crashing car into James River, Lynchburg police say


A man is in custody after police said he led officers on a chase that ended with him in the James River, threatening to hurt himself with a knife.

Just before 2:30 a.m., an officer tried to pull the man over near Florida Avenue and Grace Street but the man sped away and got on to US-29 into Amherst County where deputies took over the chase.

Police said the man eventually drove his car into the James River at Riveredge Park in Amherst County where he got out of his car and started swimming and wading down the river, threatening to hurt himself with a knife he was holding.

After a few hours, officers said they were able to safely take the man into custody on an Emergency Custody Order without the use of force.

UPDATE, 7:40 a.m.

Authorities said the man is now in custody.

10 News will update this story as this breaking news develops.


A man holding a knife is in the James River and refuses to come out of the water, according to the Lynchburg Police Department.

Authorities said the man was wanted out of Amherst and was involved in a police chase that started just before 2:30 a.m.

Around fifteen minutes later, authorities said he crashed his car into the James River in Riveredge Park and has been walking and swimming down the water since. Police said he has a knife and refuses to get out of the water.

10 News has a crew at the scene working to learn more.

According to the Lynchburg Police Department, their crisis negotiaton team and tactical units are on scene as well as the Lynchburg Fire Department, Virginia State Police, Amherst County Sheriff’s Office and Monelison Rescue.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.