When the police drew their pistols, Leslie Gulak stepped back to the safety of her yard in Burke Centre, watching the accident scene turn into a violent confrontation.
"I came out right before the ambulance got here. He started fighting the cops," Gulak said.
The "he" Gulak was referring to was Frederick Martin, 33, of the 5800 block of Wood Poppy Court, a few streets up from the accident. According to Fairfax County Police, the action occurred on Sunday, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m., when Martin was allegedly driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant eastbound on Wards Grove Circle at a high rate of speed, lost control, struck a parked car, then crossed the oncoming traffic lane, hitting a mailbox before slamming into a tree. According to police, a 5-year-old child, who was in the front passenger seat of the car, received minor injuries.
As emergency workers administered treatment, Martin interfered several times, according to police. When police arrived, Martin became unruly, and an officer tried to place Martin under arrest. Police said that Martin struck the officer in the face several times, and the officer responded with pepper spray to no avail. Several officers assisted with placing Martin under arrest, and police allege that Martin assaulted a firefighter on the scene. Police also reported that a friend of Martin's at the scene, 38-year-old William E. Davis of the 100 block of Cliff Circle in Stafford, became agitated and threatened to get a gun from his Jeep Cherokee. Davis went to his SUV and began rummaging through the contents. Other officers arrived and took him into custody without further incident. Both men were taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Davis was charged with disorderly conduct, and Martin was charged with felony assault on a police officer, felony assault on a firefighter, obstructing rescue workers, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. Martin was held in lieu of an $8,500 bond.
Leslie Gulak's mother, Sheila, looked on as well, with a group of residents from the Woods community in Burke Centre.
"It got kind of hairy over there. They [police] were very firm," Sheila Gulak said.
IT WAS John Schweppe's tree that finally stopped Martin's vehicle. Tire grooves cut across his yard.
"He barely touched the tree, and that's what stopped him. Several patrol cars cordoned off the area," Schweppe said.
Kelly White was taking out her recyclables when she saw the emergency equipment. She heard neighbors talking about the gun in the Jeep Cherokee.
"Somebody thinks they saw one," she said.
Several neighbors agreed that cars frequently speed on Wards Grove Circle.
"The community has spoken up about speed on Wards Circle. People were happy with the stop sign," said Sheila Gulak, referring to a stop sign near the Woods Community Center.
"This road is traveled rather fast. This was a good wake-up call for people to understand this is a residential area," he said. "It isn't just a throughway."