Pursuit and Capture on FM 787

LIBERTY, December 17, 2014 - On Tuesday, December 16th, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Deputy James R. McQueen was on random patrol in the north end of Liberty County. While stopped at a red light in Cleveland, he noticed that the Nissan Sentra stopped in front of him had an expired dealer’s tag. He saw the driver and passenger looking intently at him in their rear and side view mirrors. When the light changed green, the Sentra didn’t move. When it finally did start moving, it made an erratic turn into a Stripes convenience store parking lot. Deputy McQueen initiated a traffic stop, but the driver refused to pull over for the emergency lights and siren.

The driver of the Sentra continued to flee as Deputy McQueen radioed LCSO that he was in pursuit. The Sentra began heading east on FM 787 from Cleveland. At the intersection of FM 787 and FM 2518, Texas DPS Highway Patrol Sergeant Robert Willoughby was waiting with “spike strips”. Sgt. Willoughby was successful in spiking three of the Sentra’s tires. The Sentra pulled off to the side of FM 787 a short time later. The driver of the Sentra pushed his passenger out of the car as he climbed over her to escape. The female passenger stayed with the car and was taken into temporary detention. Deputy McQueen radioed LCSO that a foot pursuit for the driver was underway. LSCO deputies were assisted by the Highway Patrol, and Constable Precincts 3 and 6. The suspect ran into a pond where he tried to swim away from law enforcement. He ended up on a small island in the middle of the pond. The law enforcement officers surrounded the pond, assuring he could not escape. One LCSO deputy, Josh Leal, found a small boat at the pond’s edge. He used the boat to go to the small island and affect an arrest of the suspect.

Once the suspect was in custody and brought back to the car, deputies began their investigation into the driver, passenger and the car they were travelling in. Deputies searched the car and discovered several items that appeared to have been stolen. After he was read his Miranda rights, the suspect admitted to have taken the items from a Tarkington area home. The suspect also admitted to have stolen the Nissan Sentra from a parking lot in the Huffman area.

The male and female that tried to elude law enforcement were subsequently transported to the Liberty County Jail without incident. Denny Lee Rex Jr. was booked-in for the offense Evading Arrest with a Vehicle, a 3rd degree felony. Mona Carter was booked-in for the offense of No Seat Belt-Passenger, a Class C Misdemeanor. Bonds were set by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Stephen Hebert. The bond on Mr. Rex was $10,000 while the bond on Ms. Carter was $500. The investigations into the theft from the home in Tarkington and the stolen Sentra from Huffman are ongoing, including contacting and confirming the events with the respective owners of the property.

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