Chase suspect makes first court appearance

HOUSTON In court this morning, Phillip Hines, 32, didn't say anything, but his appearance was interesting. He was visibly hobbling as he approached the bench, likely from injuries sustained in yesterday's chase.

Authorities chased Hines through the west side of town during rush hour yesterday. At one point, he even went the wrong way down the I-10 feeder road.

It started, prosecutors say, when Hines went into an AT&T store at Westheimer and Eldridge yesterday around 10am and stole a cell phone. He made some changes to his account while he was there so they were able to call him and get him to come back to the store to return the phone.

When he returned, he was met with Precinct 5 deputies. That's when Hines led authorities on that chase through the west side in a stolen car with a stolen license plate. He eventually dumped the car and tried to run, but deputies were able to catch up with him. They say the chase was so dangerous that they even had to pull their ground units back.

"It was a dangerous situation. About halfway through the chase, we terminated the direct involvement of the units behind and let the Houston Police Department helicopter take over the pursuit," said Assist. Chief J.J. Laine with the Harris County Precinct 6 Constable's Office.

Hines is behind bars on a $50,000 bond. He is charged with felony evading arrest, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and theft.

Hines has four convictions for auto theft, assault on a peace officer, two trespassing charges and driving with a suspended license.

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