Suspect apologizes after high-speed chase in NW Harris County

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A high speed pursuit in northeast Harris County came to an end at a home on Algernon. Residents of the home were evacuated, even carrying out a pet dog, before the suspect was taken into custody. Deputies with Harris County Precinct 4 say Nemesio Magofna was found hiding under a mattress in the attic of the home.

Magofna, 41, led authorities on a dangerous high speed chase for close to 45 minutes before pulling into the driveway of his girlfriend's home. At first investigators weren't sure what was going on, and brought the girlfriend's uncle out in handcuffs. He was soon released.

Eyewitness News has learned Magofna was likely running because he was heading back to prison no matter what.

According to online criminal records, Magofna was out on parole for a 2013 drug conviction. He served almost a year and was paroled in April 2014. He had a warrant for violating that parole when the Harris County Sheriff's Office was investigating him for auto-theft, car burglary and possibly a car-jacking. When a Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable tried to stop him Monday, he took off. Officers found a shotgun and ammunition for it and a pistol inside his truck. They believe he threw another weapon out the window during the chase.

The dangerous high speed chase wound in circles, back and forth, on and around Cypresswood. At times Magofna drove the wrong way into traffic, narrowly avoiding school buses. Spring ISD put all schools on lockdown during the pursuit, and brought school buses to a stop in position, delaying dismissals.

No accidents were witnessed, but there were a number of close calls.

Deputies tried a number of techniques to bring the chase to an end, including deploying spike strips, but none of those efforts worked, until Magofna finally pulled into the driveway.

The pursuit began at about 2:30pm on FM 1960.

"He was just zooming around like he owned the street, like he had no care in the world," said witness Jessica Ayala. "He was just sitting in truck relaxing, like he didn't have 20, 30 cops behind him."

To our cameras, Magofna apologized for his actions and had a message for his son.

"Be a good boy. Don't be like dad. I love you boy," said Magofna.

Despite the potential danger during the pursuit, the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office said it was necessary to continue it until Magofna was caught.

"We had to make the call. We knew he was armed and dangerous. He is a convicted felon. He needed to be stopped," Lt. David Escobar told Eyewitness News.
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