Suspect identified after chase ends with arrest, police PIT maneuver
HOUSTON – A police chase ended Thursday afternoon after an officer forced the driver to crash in east Houston.
The chase began around 11:30 a.m. in the 900 block of Maltby Street, near Avenue K, according to Houston police.
The chase began after a man saw a person driving his stolen truck, according to authorities.
“I followed him,” explained Guillermo Marquez, the owner of the truck.
Marquez said he parked his truck at the church across the street from his home on Sunday. When he returned, the truck was gone, and he called police.
Four days later, while running errands, Marquez said he and his wife saw someone else driving his truck.
“I call the police, and I tell them I’m right behind the guy and tell them. Police say, 'Give me the address,' I say ‘OK’ and give the address and the police come in 10 minutes,” Marquez said.
The driver of the stolen black pickup truck, identified as Sergio Compean, 31, led police on a chase on the Gulf Freeway in southeast Houston at high speeds, then into the southeast Houston area.
“Yeah, I didn’t know what was going on. All I know is that he had about hit me,” said Charles Britton, an Uber driver who was driving in the area.
“I was coming this way anyway because I live in La Porte, and that’s when I see him (officer) hit him (car thief) right there with a PIT maneuver, and he got him,” Britton said.
About an hour after the chase began, a police SUV pulled up alongside Compean in the truck on Broadway and used the pursuit intervention technique, or PIT maneuver.
The officer sideswiped the back right of the truck, causing the truck to spin out of control and settle on a grassy area of a Burger King parking lot.
Officers surrounded the truck as Compean got out of the vehicle and was taken into custody.
The PIT maneuver is used by the Houston Police Department and several departments across the country to help end chases. HPD has taught the technique to select officers on the force.
“I’m just glad he didn’t hurt nobody and the only damage is the rim and (the back) where the cops hit it, but I guess that’s better than losing the whole truck,” said Gilbert Lucio, who lives in the same neighborhood as Marquez.
He, along with Britton, helped his friend fix the busted tire.
Lucio claims the thief also lives in the same neighborhood.
“Yeah, you steal a truck from where you live at, then you ride around in the same neighborhood from where you stole it. That’s why the owner found his own stolen truck, the guy was driving it from where he stole it, and that’s why he got caught,” Lucio said. “It’s kind of dumb that he stole from his own people and rides around in the same place. That’s why he got caught.”
Compean has been charged with evading, a felony, and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
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