WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office reports a fugitive is in custody after leading officers on a chase throughout Wytheveille on Wednesday.

Around 11 a.m. on March 8, a Wythe County Deputy was patrolling the Kimberlin Road area in Rural Retreat when he noticed a blue Chevrolet Camaro stopped in the road. The deputy approached the vehicle and the driver, Joshua Tait Melvin, claimed he was making sure he didn’t have a flat tire. Melvin then allegedly got in the car and sped away.

The deputy then noticed an unidentified woman lying on the ground and immediately called for medical units before pursuing Melvin. A vehicle chase then occurred through Smyth County during which Melvin reportedly drove recklessly on Interstate 81. As the pursuit continued, several law enforcement agencies were called to assist with the chase and some Wythe County Public Schools were placed on a modified lockdown.

Melvin led officers to Pepper Ferry Road and allegedly parked behind the Derm One PLLC building. He then exited the vehicle and ran into a Walgreens where he was taken into custody.

During their investigation, officers learned prior to the incident Melvin and the woman allegedly got into an argument when she jumped out of the car, due to Melvin’s alleged driving.

Investigators learned Melvin was also wanted for the following unrelated charges:

  • warrants from pursuits in Spotsylvania and Frederick Counties
  • Capias in Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties
  • Arrest warrant for assault and battery in Spotsylvania

Additionally, according to the Wytheville Police Department (WPD), Melvin was charged with the Assault of a Family Member in October of 2022. He allegedly violated his bond and conditions for release in October and has been a fugitive since. WPD said Melvin has allegedly been involved in three pursuits over the past five months and has previously escaped custody.

The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office and the Wytheville Police Department charged Melvin with 12 warrants. He is being held on 24 charges without bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail.

WFXR News will update you with details as it is released.