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Press Release

Fugitive Sentenced to 57 Months for High-Speed Chase and Assaulting Federal Officer with Vehicle

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– A Staunton, Virginia man, who attempted to run over law enforcement officers serving arrest warrants, was sentenced last week to 57 months in federal prison.

Richard Lee Knight, 39, pled guilty in June 2022 to one count of assault on a federal officer.

According to court documents, the United States Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force (CARFTF) discovered that Knight, who was wanted on several fugitive warrants out of various jurisdictions in Virginia, was staying at a motel in the Charlottesville area.

Local law enforcement, in conjunction with CARFTF, located Knight in a Walmart parking lot on the morning of November 29, 2021 near his Mercedes Benz vehicle.  When a law enforcement officer moved in to arrest him by issuing an order to “show me your hands, don’t move,” Knight refused the order and entered his car instead.  Knight drove his Mercedes in reverse, striking both a CARFTF officer and a police vehicle, then drove forward, ramming into a second police vehicle.

After fleeing the scene, Knight led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase through Albemarle County, Virginia before being apprehended after crashing his vehicle on Interstate 64.

As a result of Knight’s actions, a CARFTF officer suffered cuts, bruises, back injuries, and a concussion.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and United States Marshal Thomas L. Foster of the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.

The United States Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Albemarle County Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald M. Huber and Jordan E. McKay prosecuted the case.

Updated August 29, 2022