Reckless High-Speed Police Chase in Central Texas
Statistically, 150 innocent bystanders a year die in reckless high-speed police chases. Since the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration relies on voluntary reporting to compile the number, the actual casualty figure may be quite a bit higher, since police officers are often reluctant to “tattle” on fellow employees. Over 90 percent of these chases are for non-violent crimes; in fact, over 40 percent are over a traffic ticket. Recently, there was an extremely reckless high speed police chase just a few miles north of here. A Waco man died after a high-speed police chase ended with a one-sided shootout alongside Interstate 35 near Hewitt. Waco police state that they staked out the residence of a suspect in several area convenience store robberies. When the man returned to his East Waco residence one day shortly after noon, he spotted officers and fled the scene in a green Ford Expedition. He led officers onto southbound Interstate 35 at speeds exceeding 80 mph. The man eventually ran his vehicle into a ditch when officers attempted to puncture his tires. Officers then converged on the disabled vehicle and fired an “undisclosed” number of times. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. It was unclear whether the officers shot the man while he was inside the car or after he attempted to flee on foot. Although officers state that the man was carrying a handgun, it is also unclear whether he raised or fired the weapon. A police sergeant remarked that it was “fortunate that no officers or civilians were injured.” Texas Rangers are scheduled to investigate the incident.