Man leads police to suspected drunk driver after car chase

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One man's actions may have saved lives

When Jonathan Chumley saw a driver moving slowly and erratically on the Gulf Freeway on Sunday, he started following and his wife started recording.

"He's hitting a curb and he's bottomed out his car and he's getting onto the freeway now," Chumley said in the recording, as the video shows sparks flying from underneath a dark colored sedan.

Chumley first noticed the driver at Exit 17 on the Gulf Freeway.

He followed at a safe distance with his hazard lights on and called 911 along the way.

PHOTOS: Gilbert Roland Mendoza
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"A couple of times he flew out in front of cars that were doing seventy miles per hour and he was doing thirty," he told Eyewitness News. "They had to lock up their brakes a couple of times."

In the 911 audio obtained by Eyewitness News, Chumley tells an operator he's following the driver at a safe distance.

"There's a drunk driver," he said on the recording. "I've been chasing him for about 10 miles now. He's hit a curb. He's driving all over."

La Marque police pulled over the driver who is now in jail.

According to DPS Sergeant Stephen Woodard, Chumley did the right thing.

"Wow, what an awesome thing yesterday," he said. "As a citizen, if you're driving down the road and you see someone failing to maintain a single lane, if they're driving on the improved shoulder, if they're driving at a high rate of speed and endangers themselves and others it's extremely important for you to give law enforcement a call. "

As it turns out, the man police say was driving the car is not a stranger.

Gilbert Roland Mendoza has been arrested for theft, assault, drug possession, jumping bail, and DWI. In fact, this is the third time he's been charged with driving while intoxicated.

As for why Chumley felt compelled to follow Mendoza, Chumley's own life was changed forever by a drunk driver.

He tells us one killed his mother in 2008 when she was 47-years-old.

"That's something that bothered me a lot to see something like that and I just wanted to help, you know, maybe save someone's life whether it be his or someone else's," said Chumley.

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