A 27-year-old Manassas woman police said, and rammed her car into a security vehicle near a Walter Reed Bethesda gate, where a Navy security officer fired his gun.
Angela Akosua Cobbold of the 7800 block of Blue Gray Circle in Manassas was being evaluated at a hospital Tuesday afternoon following the incident, during which police said she was seen attempting to eat a bar of soap.
Police say one shot was fired but no one was hit after Cobbold backed into the security vehicle near the North Gate of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, the campus of the just before noon.
One Navy security officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries after using a baton to break the drivers’ side windows on Cobbold’s black Mitsubishi when the woman refused to exit the car, police said. Police said Cobbold then fled north, briefly driving the wrong way down Rockville Pike before turning onto Cedar Lane, and was finally taken into custody when she crashed her car near a construction site in North Bethesda.
The incident blocked traffic along major thoroughfares and drew heavy police response from local, state and federal jurisdictions. Bewildered residents flocked to social media as investigators and reporters attempted to piece together the bizarre sequence of events, which began with a police pursuit in Virginia after Cobbold’s car was clocked travelling 93 mph on I-66 around 11:25 a.m.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene in White Flint, where Cobbold was taken into custody after crashing her car into a fence at a construction site next to the Harris Teeter.
“Before we got to Nicholson we were passed by no less than 10 police cars coming up Old Georgetown and five more turning onto old Georgetown from Tuckerman…We saw at least two helicopters in the sky over the construction site near the Harris Teeter,” one witness, who was driving near the crash site, wrote in an email to Patch.
Traffic was blocked off near the crash site, the witness said. Traffic was also affected on Rockville Pike, where the northbound lanes were blocked off for several hours.
Residents took to Twitter to report heavy police presence.
“This would explain the circling helicopter!!!” tweeted @shanae888.
It wasn’t clear Tuesday why Cobbold fled from officers.
When Cobbold initially made a U-turn into the Walter Reed Bethesda gate around 11:50 a.m., Montgomery County police spokesman, Capt. Paul Starks, said security officers noticed her “biting or attempting to eat a bar of soap” in her car before she collided with another vehicle, sped off to the south, made another U-turn and returned to the gate where she was confronted by Navy security personnel.
Pieces of soap remained on the roadway, Starks said.
Starks said he couldn’t speak to what Cobbold’s motivations may have been, but he described the incident as “unusual.”
“She’s in custody and she’s getting the treatment that we think she needs right now,” Starks said.
Many of the neighbors living in Cobbold’s townhouse community off Ashton Avenue in Prince William County said they didn't know her, Manassas Patch reported.
Neighbors that did said she was “very nice” and shared her home with at least two other people, possibly relatives, according to Manassas Patch.
Multiple jurisdictions will need to coordinate before any charges are filed, Starks said.