The Virginia Court of Appeals reversed a defendant’s conviction of fleeing from a law enforcement officer, finding the arresting officer got no closer than 20 yards to the suspect—a distance too great to satisfy the statutory proximity requirement.

In a July 25 opinion, authored by Judge Stuart A. Raphael, the Virginia Court of Appeals determined that as a matter of law, the distance between Jesse Ryan Hackett and the police officer who was attempting to make a lawful arrest was too great to satisfy the statutory proximity requirement outlined in Code Section 18.2-460(E), which makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly flee from a law enforcement officer attempting to make a lawful arrest.