- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 9, 2009

Six people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries Friday morning after a carjacking that started in Prince George’s County ended with a crash that involved a Navy police car in the District.

Authorities say the incident began when a Fort Washington man towing lawn-maintenance equipment behind his sport utility vehicle stopped at a gas station in the 6000 block of Oxon Hill Road in Oxon Hill.

The victim got out of his vehicle to get gas for the lawn equipment when another man entered the vehicle through the passenger door.

The keys were left in the car, and the man - who was thought to be armed - drove the victim’s car away from the gas station.

The victim was aided by another man in the gas station, and the two chased the carjacked vehicle in the second man’s car.

Joseph P. Cirone, a spokesman for Naval Support Activity Washington, said the men pulled ahead of the SUV and got the attention of a Navy police car traveling northbound on Interstate 295 in Anacostia.

The Navy police car, which was carrying three Naval Support Activity officers, pulled to the shoulder of the highway near the exit for Laboratory Road. As officials radioed Metropolitan Police about the carjacking, the carjacked vehicle approached from behind and rammed the Navy police car, Mr. Cirone said.

The carjacked vehicle then swerved and hit a Nissan Pathfinder traveling northbound, and the two vehicles became entangled, eventually crashing farther up the road.

A Navy law enforcement officer chased the man in the SUV, but the man escaped on foot, Mr. Cirone said.

Six people were taken to area hospitals with what officials described as minor injuries, and traffic delays were reported through the morning rush hour.

Police are searching for the carjacking suspect.

• Matthew Cella can be reached at mcella@washingtontimes.com.

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