Off duty trooper spots Rural Retreat man wanted on probation violation; leads to chase and school lockdown before man arrested

New River Valley News

(Photo: Courtesy Wytheville Police Department Facebook)

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WFXR)- – Friday morning was a busy one for officers with the Wytheville Police Department, involving a vehicle pursuit and a school lockdown.

According to the department, just before 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, word came in from an off-duty state trooper that a wanted individual was at the Sheetz on North 4th Street in Wytheville.

Police say the off-duty trooper recognized 29-year-old Tyler Cleveland of Rural Retreat, who the trooper knew was wanted for a probation violation.

When officers responded a short time later, Cleveland had reportedly just left the parking lot, but then the officers spotted the vehicle a short distance away and performed a traffic stop.

When police made contact with Cleveland, they say they advised him that he was wanted for a probation violation. That’s when Cleveland reportedly sped away from the officers, who immediately began a pursuit.

Cleveland subsequently crashed his truck at the intersection with Fisher Road and East Spiller Street, but he still got out and ran away, according to the department.

Due to the location of the incident and the proximity of Spiller Elementary School, officials say the school was placed on lockdown.

A citizen who did not know of the ongoing situation called police when he spotted a suspicious person who was “acting weird” on the Historic Loretto Mansion property, authorities say.

Cleveland was apprehended a short time later after a state trooper noticed his tracks in the frost-covered grass and found him hiding in the bushes at the mansion’s property.

According to police, Cleveland is being charged with probation violation, eluding police, destruction of property, and driving on a suspended license.

The Wytheville Police Department received assistance from the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police.

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