Stolen bait truck crashes into NW Houston apartments after chase, pinning bystander

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April 7, 2014 6:56:19 AM PDT
A woman is shaken and injured, but should be OK after a bait truck police were chasing crashed into a northwest Houston apartment complex stairway Saturday night, pinning her.

"I saw the truck kept coming, kept coming, kept coming and by the time I got ready to turn, it hit this whole side," Nicole Williams explained.

Williams can't remember the moments right after the truck slammed into her entire body.

"When it hit me, I went blank and when I came to, I saw the truck on me," she said.

She was standing in the middle of the stairway at her sister's apartment complex on West Montgomery Road near Dewalt. Suddenly, sirens rang out and a truck and several HPD squad cars approached.

The last thing she remembers is an officer yelling through an intercom.

"When the truck was coming, they were like, 'Freeze,'" said Williams. "I thought the truck was with them, so I froze. I raised my hands."

With no time to react, Williams was hit. The blow was so severe that when she came to, she expected to find blood all over her body. Instead, she walked away with a hairline fracture to her knee and a greater appreciation for life.

"I was lucky just to leave with my knee," she said.

A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department tells us the truck involved in Williams accident was actually a bait vehicle being used by HPD to catch auto thieves. When a suspect made his way to the vehicle parked at the corner of Bingle and Little York, an officer tried to pull him over.

But a chase ensued and ended more than three miles away at the Garden City Apartments, and right at the stairwell Williams was standing on.

"You just basically put everybody's life in danger," said Williams.

Williams blames the suspect and HPD for her pain and wants these types of bait operations to stop.

"They might as well just not do the bait thing, just let it be a real person," she said. "If they can't stop it, if you can't stop it with a bait truck, basically you're telling me this man is unstoppable and then he got away on top of that."

That suspect got out, took off and remains on the run.

In the past, we've reported on bait vehicles and a so called 'kill switch' that enables officers to kill the engine remotely. An HPD spokesperson didn't know if a kill switch was used in this situation.

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