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Suspect caugt after 40-mile chase

April 18, 2011

A Sterling City man was taken to the emergency room at Scenic Mountain Medical Center after crashing his vehicle on Gregg Street following a car chase with law enforcement officials that lasted more than 40 miles.
According to Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker, local law enforcement officials received a call from officers in Sterling City at approximately 2:30 p.m.

“They informed us the suspect had been involved in a traffic accident in Sterling City and had fled the scene,” Parker said. “Once officers were in pursuit of him, he apparently got on Highway 87 and headed toward Big Spring. The chase never got above 70 mph, and law enforcement officers followed him the entire way.”

Once in Howard County, however, Parker said the suspect's erratic driving caused several traffic accidents.

“Once he got into Big Spring and onto Gregg Street, he hit a total of six vehicles,” Parker said. “One of those was a Big Spring Police Department vehicle and another was a sheriff's deputy's car. The chase ended near the intersection of Fifth Street and Gregg at around 3 p.m. when the suspect hit an embankment and totaled his vehicle.

“Once the vehicle was stopped, law enforcement officers had to remove him from the car. He had a knife and a screwdriver he was going to use as weapons and tasers were deployed. Once we had him in custody, he was taken to the emergency room at Scenic Mountain Medical Center.”
Parker said the suspect, whose name is not being released at this time, was apparently dealing with a mental problem or disorder at the time of the chase.

“I was able to speak with his family in Sterling City,” Parker said. “The man has been having some mental health problems for some time now. We're not releasing his name to the press at this time because charges haven't yet been filed. They are looking at him and treating him at SMMC and we'll just have to see what comes of that. However, he hasn't yet been booked into the jail.”

Comments

How did this happen

April 18, 2011 by luumberjaack17 (not verified), 3 years 28 weeks ago
Comment: 40

I am sure that all the police and law enforcement involved in this car chase were patting each other on the back and saying “Job well done!” This is just not true. This chase lasted 40 miles and it was chase that made 40 miles hazardous to all innocent pedestrians and motorists. Why should it have taken 40 miles to bring one man to a halt?

I was on Gregg St. stuck on the bridge over FM 700 Saturday during the incident. A police officer of whom I am sure was ordered to do so, stopped all traffic so this circus act could make its way into town. Instead of utilizing all 40 miles of road in the country where they should brought this man to a halt, they allowed him to drive right into town at his leisurely speed where he was able to abruptly stop and cause a fender bender with a Howard County Sheriff’s Deputy and then continue into town. They allowed him to continue forward making collateral damage and possible injury or death to pedestrians and other motorists probable. Due to the lack of proper leadership from law enforcement officials and proper action not taken maybe because of lack of knowledge or experience on behalf of all officers involved, I am now writing this comment.

Did this happen because all officers involved were not trained for this type of criminal action? Was it because the Big Spring Police are more concerned with whether your dog is on or off a leash on your own property? Did this crime not generate as much revenue as a DWI? Was it because the officers involved were afraid to step up and would rather have somebody else taking the fall?

I find myself most disappointed with the Big Spring Police Department. They are fully staffed and I see them everywhere heckling good citizens for small time crime issuing tickets forcing our already cash strapped Big Spring economy for it last dollars. Are the taxes we pay not enough making it so they get ordered to completely tap us out? I see true crime happen everyday. The times I would call in tips, my advice was not taken nor did any official ever show up to investigate. Why is it that when people I know have something horrible happen to them I hear the same thing? They tell me “They showed up too late!” or “They did nothing”. I guess they had too many tickets to write up or some old women to pull over for driving 2 mph over the speed limit. What disturbs me the most is what I see officers doing off duty or on break in uniform.

I sit here wondering why it takes 40 miles to stop one criminal. Could it be because Big Spring and Howard county is fighting the wrong type of crime and they don’t know how to fight this type of crime? I don’t care that the police originally pursuing this individual did not stop him. What I care about is why our officials let this recklessness come into our town.

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