Police Charge Virginia Lawmaker With Two Felonies

Image via Matt Fariss, Facebook

James Lynch Contributor
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Republican Virginia state Del. Matt Fariss was arrested on two felony charges Tuesday after he turned himself in for an alleged hit-and-run incident where he injured a woman after a dispute.

Fariss has been charged with one count of malicious wounding, one count of failing to stop an accident and one count of reckless driving, local outlet Cardinal News reported. Malicious wounding is a class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and failing to stop is a class 5 felony.

“While I may have made some mistakes in my life, these charges are false. I look forward to clearing them in a court of law,” he told the outlet. (RELATED: Police Arrest School Lunch Lady For Allegedly Sending Nude Photo To Teenager, Driving To Party To Meet Up)

Fariss was driving his SUV with a woman in the passenger’s seat Thursday afternoon when his tire blew out, allegedly causing him to become aggressive, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The woman stepped out of the car as Fariss’ aggression grew during a phone call with his son about a car jack. He proceeded to yell at the woman to get back into the car, and when she would not, he allegedly struck her with his SUV.

He turned himself in the next day and met with a state trooper, police said. He was released on a $7,500 bond and his arraignment is scheduled for Mar. 17 in Campbell County, Cardinal News reported.

It’s unclear what his relationship was to the woman. She suffered minor injuries and sought a protective order against him, according to an affidavit filed Friday.

Fariss previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor hit-and-run stemming from a parking dispute in January 2016. He was also charged with breach of peace and found not guilty.

Fariss was first elected to represent Virginia’s 59th district in 2011. He is married with three children and operates the largest livestock market in the state, his bio says.