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Man held without bond after allegedly leading police on Brazos River chase

HOUSTON – No bond is set for the man who jumped into the Brazos River after a police chase Monday afternoon.

Jose Luis Orta, 46, did not appear for his probable cause hearing. It was assigned to the 179th District Court in Harris County. Prosecutors said he pointed a gun out the window and fired several shots at officers along the way.

PHOTOS: Man jumps into river to flee police

Orta’s mug shots showed him cleaned up after leading Houston police on a chase that lasted about 25 minutes over 10 miles. Orta swam in the Brazos River and took off his clothes after prosecutors said he drove through two fences and hit a tree on private property.

Orta’s father, Juan Orta, told KPRC 2 he was not sure of what to make of it. Juan Orta said, “I think it was stupid. Stupid as can be. Nobody can get away from the police. So many people. So many thousands of people try and they never got away.”

Jose Luis Orta was charged with evading arrest, felon in possession of a weapon and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. Court documents showed he was previously convicted of arson and bail jumping.

The senior Orta said, “He had problems with drugs. Yes. Recently he was in prison."

Police said the chase started as they were arresting Jaime Garza on suspicion he was driving a stolen truck in south Houston. They said that's when Jose Luis Orta, the passenger, jumped in the driver's seat of the black truck and took off on a trip that ended with officers pulling him out of the river and taking him to jail.

Police said along the way he repeatedly fired at officers. Police said they found one shotgun on the banks of the river and a second shotgun in the truck. Police said he also threw bags of cocaine and methamphetamine onto the banks, but claimed they were not his.