Driver leads police on wild chase

August 14, 2008 4:48:44 PM PDT
A dangerous police chase took place in northwest Houston, with the driver of a truck speeding through several neighborhoods, slamming through a fence and even going down several streets the wrong way. The chase came to an end near Deer Ridge and Bammel, when the truck crashed. [PICS: IMAGES FROM CHASE]

"I just happened to glance over when the guy was coming down, and it said Deer Ridge at the bottom of the screen," recalled neighbor Earnest Rodriguez. "I said, 'Wait a minute! That's my street!' So I stood there for a second. Then I said, 'Wait a minute! That's my house!'"

Rodriguez watched the entire chase from the break room at his job. The police pursuit came to an abrupt stop right next door to his house, with the suspect crashing into a parked car, bailing out, and being struck by a patrol car.

"I kind of got shook up when I saw the house," Rodriguez said. "The first thing I thought was about the kids. They're always out here in the yard playing. That's the purpose of my mother-in-law being here. They come out and they stay out and play all day."

The kids were fine, but the owner of the car the suspect slammed into, who was at work all day, now wonders who's going to pay to fix it. Santos Romero owns the house the car was parked in front of.

He said, "It makes you angry. You're out there, basically working hard, you know, just to make a living and stuff like this happens."

The chase started just after 1pm, when the driver of a GMC truck took off when HPD officers tried to pull him over on West Rankin.

Capt. John Martin with the Harris County Sheriff's Office explained, "They observed the suspect. They believed he was conducting drug deals at that location."

The driver led police on an hour-long chase around northwest Harris County, even driving the wrong way down streets into oncoming traffic at times. Deputies tried to stop the suspect with stop sticks at least twice.

"The deputy said the suspect swerved toward him and attempted to run him over as he tried to deploy the spike strips," said Capt. Martin.

The suspect is in custody. He reportedly refused medical treatment. Although he was struck by a patrol car, he was able to walk away. He is charged with felony evading and two charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer.

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