When Christian Hunt walked into Wachovia bank on Saturday, Sept. 2, he never imagined that 10 minutes later he would be racing through the streets of downtown McLean in pursuit of an armed robber.
"It was quite an experience," said Hunt, who is president and CEO of Care Rehab and Orthopaedic Products, Inc. in McLean.
The suspect was at the ATM when Hunt first walked into the bank. As Hunt interacted with one teller, the suspect approached the neighboring teller, showed a gun and demanded money.
"He had the gun in his left hand, but I didn't see it at that time," said Hunt. "So while the teller was handing him the money I thought, while he was distracted, I would get out of there."
However, Hunt did not leave the bank to flee the scene and head for safety, but rather got into his own car, backed up, and waited for the robber to exit the bank. He also dialed 911 to inform the police of what was going on.
"I waited for him to come out and then I chased him through McLean for 5 or 10 minutes," said Hunt.
At one point during the brief high-speed car chase, Hunt stopped at the top of Laughlin Avenue and Whittier Avenue and waited for the suspect to come around the one-way road.
"At that point he showed his firearm to me to kind of scare me off a bit, but I stayed in pursuit," said Hunt.
The police arrived on the scene approximtely 10 minutes after Hunt had phoned them. Two McLean District officers apprehended the suspect, Chante J. Wright, 25, of Washington, D.C. For the next four hours, Hunt was interviewed by Fairfax County Police and FBI investigators. During the chase, the suspect had apparently thrown his firearm from his vehicle, so Hunt re-enacted the scene to help police locate the gun.
"They called in the K-9 unit to look for the last known scent in the area, and unfortunately for me, that scent was my own," said Hunt. "So the ferocious German Shepherd decided to lunge at me."
Luckily for Hunt, he was wearing a coat and the dog did not sink his teeth all the way into his arm.
"I've done some adventurous things before, but this one was the most fun," said Hunt.
Although Hunt was able to help apprehend the suspect, Fairfax County Police urge citizens not to follow his example and take matters into their own hands.
"We do not encourage that at all," said Lt. Rich Perez, a public information officer with Fairfax County Police.