Car chase suspect allegedly attempts carjacking

January 6, 2012 8:23:32 PM PST
Police have arrested a man who first led them on a car chase in southeast Houston then allegedly attempted to carjack a woman in a last ditch attempt to evade authorities.

The chase ended shortly before 7:30pm Friday in the parking lot of the Houston Community College campus off the Gulf Freeway and Rustic, where investigators say the man then tried to carjack someone.

The scene was teeming with HPD squad cars after a group of friends who were getting ready for a night out on the town encountered an uninvited guest who'd been running from police.

"If he would have come up to me, I would have hit him in the eye with it," witness Frank DelaPortilla said while holding a car key between his fingers.

DelaPortilla says he had every intention of defending himself from the man who tried to steal his friend's daughter's SUV while she was still in the driver's seat.

"I was on the other side. I didn't know he had come back this way," he said.

Brenda Rodriguez was too upset to talk but DelaPortilla says the unidentified man startled the group while they were waiting in the parking lot of Houston Community College for another friend who happened to be HCC's president. They chose this spot as a meeting place before heading downtown to a gala.

"We saw the helicopter put the light on him over there and then he got off of it and started running this way and then he came in here," witness Frank Partida said.

The suspect had been on the run from police after a routine traffic stop. He dumped his truck near HCC after leading police on a high-speed chase for about eight miles and zig-zagging through the streets of east Houston. At one point, he was spotted driving the wrong on the Gulf Freeway; that's when the officers in pursuit backed off.

"Our policy is very clear, restrictions on chases driving the wrong way on the service road and freeway are definitely one of many reasons to terminate the pursuit," Houston Police Department Lt. David Angelo said.

The suspect was taken into custody and police say they had to shock him a Taser because he was resisting arrest.

DelaPortilla is grateful no one was hurt.

"We're going out to have a nice time, have some supper and whatever and all of the sudden this happens," DelaPortilla said.

Police have not released the driver's name. While it's unclear what charge he will face, Angelo told us he has a criminal history.