Chase Through Verona Ends In Violent Encounter, Arrest


A man faces a long list of charges after leading deputies on a dangerous chase through Verona that ended with him resisting arrest and assaulting officers.

Photo: Augusta County Sheriff's Office

According to Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith, 23-year-old Zachary E. Talley was taken into custody on Tuesday evening.

In the early evening hours, deputies received a report that Talley, who was wanted on charges of felony theft, was in Verona driving a silver station wagon.

At about 5:30 p.m., they found him, along with a male passenger, in that vehicle in the 200 block of Laurel Hill Road (near the Verona Food Lion). The deputies informed him they had warrants for his arrest and ordered him to leave the vehicle.

Instead, deputies say Talley rolled up his windows, locked the door, and then sped away.

He drove up Laurel Hill Road and then turned on to Route 11, where witnesses reported he turned with no regard to public safety.

When deputies caught up, the passenger held his hands out the window as if surrendering, but Talley continued to evade the pursuing deputies.

He turned onto Spring Hill Road and slammed into a deputy's vehicle before turning on to Berry Farm Road and making his way toward Quicks Mill Rd, where, according to Smith, he ignored the stop sign.

Deputies say he then hit several civilian vehicles before stopping in the 100 block of Limestone Road before getting out and fleeing on foot near Middle River.

Talley's passenger immediately surrendered to deputies and warned them that Talley was armed. He was later released at the scene.

An Augusta County Sheriff's Office K-9 was brought to the scene and quickly tracked him to a nearby wooded area.

Deputies caught up with him in that wooded area, where they say he refused multiple commands to show his hands and surrender. He actively resisted arrested, and, in the process, one of the responding deputies employed a Taser.

However, he continued to resist, said Sheriff Smith, claiming to be armed and threatening bodily harm to the law enforcement apprehending him.

Smith said Talley then went unresponsive during the confrontation, allegedly due to ingesting narcotics.

He was transported to Augusta Health by rescue squad, where he remains hospitalized on Wednesday.

In the course of the struggle, a deputy's patrol car that had parked next to Talley's vehicle ignited dry grass that was touching the hot undercarriage of the vehicle, igniting a fire that enveloped the vehicle.

The Verona Fire Department quickly responded, but was unable to stop it before the cruiser was fully engulfed.

No deputies were injured when a cruiser was struck or when the cruiser burned, but one received treatment for a hand injury during the arrest.

Talley was charged with felony eluding, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled drug, possession of a schedule I or II substance, possession of marijuana, possession of burglary tools, obstruction of justice, giving false information to police, failing to stop for a red light, two counts of failing to stop for a stop sign, and two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer.

The Virginia State Police is investigating the multiple crashes that occurred during the chase.

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