Suspect who led police on nearly hour-long chase identified

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter

HOUSTON - The man who led police on a nearly hour-long chase all over the Houston area has been identified.

Houston police identified the suspect as 30-year-old Steven Benavides.

Police said they were doing routine patrol when they saw Benavides making several moving violations in the 1800 block of Reed Road. 

Officials said officers tried to stop him, but he refused and the chase began just after 3 p.m. Thursday on Almeda Road near West Airport in southwest Houston.

Benavides was driving a Pontiac SUV. He led police through southwest Houston, up Highway 288 north to Highway 59 North toward downtown.

Benavides then exited onto the Highway 59 feeder road and traveled north before getting on I-10 East. He then exited Kress and drove through residential neighborhoods in east Houston.

Speeds reached nearly 75 miles per hour on several major streets in east Houston.

Benavides then drove into the Englewood Rail Yard in northeast Houston, jumped the vehicle onto the railroad tracks and drove westbound. Patrol cars did not pursue the suspect on the tracks.

Benavides drove around the rail yard and eventually bailed. But a lone Houston police officer ran him down and Tased the suspect near Dowling and Shotwell in a northeast Houston neighborhood.

"We made several attempts to stop him," said M. T. Jackson of the HPD Patrol Division. "We set up spike stripes along the way. He eluded us by driving into the railyard and he drove along the tracks."

At least 10 patrol cars were pursuing the vehicle at times.

Houston police said officers originally tried to pull Benavides over because of a suspicious vehicle. Police said he told them he didn't stop because he was driving with a suspended license and had unpaid parking tickets.

Surveillance video was captured by cameras outside of Family Donut on the corner of West Orem Drive and Hiram Clarke Road. Kevin Trinh owns the shop and spoke exclusively with Local 2 about the intense chase he witnessed right outside of his business.

"So crazy, he could have hurt a lot of people," said Trinh. "I was sitting here doing my paperwork and I heard something like police alarms going on a lot. I see a lot of people cars coming in and said, 'Woah, what's going on?'"

Trinh ran outside and saw the SUV drive into the parking lot of his shop and then back into traffic, hitting the side of his curb.

"To see it right in front of my shop, right in front of my eye, I was like 'Wow,' it is so surprising to me," said Trinh.

Benavides is charged with evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance. He's being held at the Harris County Jail and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

>>Click here to watch video from the end of the chase.

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