Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Local police continue to search for a suspect who bolted on foot through a wooded area outside city limits early Monday morning after failing to respond to officers who noticed defective equipment on the vehicle, which also was traveling at an unsafe speed.
According to Jacksonville Police Department Patrol Sgt. Jason Price, the incident began about 3:45 a.m. near the intersection of South Bolton and Larissa Streets, when officers Jeff Dockter and Chase Berryhill attempted to stop the driver of a red truck, but instead, he led them on a pursuit along U.S. Highway 79 West, then north along FM 747 before going back into town.
The subject drove through a residential area before returning to U.S. 79 and heading south on FM 747.
“The subject was seen to be driving erratically, going from the correct lane of travel to the opposite lane, back and forth, and was observed opening the door of the vehicle while driving,” Sgt. Price said. “He was going anywhere from 55 to 85 miles per hour.”
No other traffic was on the road during the incident, which lasted about half an hour before the subject stopped his vehicle on County Road 1816 then fled on foot.
“Officers pursued on foot (but) temporarily lost sight of him” before hearing a gunshot, Sgt. Price said. “He basically shoots at them, but neither officer was struck.”
After losing sight of the suspect, who crossed a pasture into a wooded area, a K-9 unit from TDCJ was summoned to the scene. The dog tracked the suspect through the wooded area to a nearby home that was checked, but after approximately two hours of search, the it lost the suspect's trail, Sgt. Price said.
Detectives are following up leads on the case, including the discovery of “numerous items” inside the suspect's abandoned vehicle that “may possibly be stolen,” he added.