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2 lanes closed after I-45 police chase

Erin Mulvane, Houston Chronicle
Published 10:51 pm, Sunday, January 27, 2013
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A man has been arrested after assaulting a driver, stealing his car and leading deputies on a 10-minute chase in northwest Harris County Sunday evening, officials said.

At about 6:30 p.m., a 21-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were waiting in a drive-thru line at the Wendy's at West Road and Interstate-45, when a man walked up to the 2008 Avalanche and grabbed the male driver and pulled him from the vehicle, said Harris County Sheriff's Office Deputy Thomas Gilliland.

Deputies said the man struck the driver in the face and knocked him to the ground. As the man tried to fight back, the suspect pushed the car into drive and drug him a few feet before he fell over. The driver was left in the parking lot with scrapes and bruises. The female passenger was still in the car with the suspect when he drove from the scene, Gilliland said.

Emergency services were called and the suspect led officers on a chase that lasted about 10 minutes. He first turned right onto West Road, drove toward Veteran near Beltway 8 and crossed T.C. Jester, where he struck another car stopped at a traffic light. He rammed through that vehicle and drove through the light, deputies said.

He then entered the Beltway leading up to Interstate-45 with deputies still pursuing. The chase ended when the driver crashed outside of the Wendy's, making a full circle. He lost control, hit a wall barrier and slid into the grass, deputies said.

The female passenger ran from the vehicle toward deputies after the crash. The Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff's Office had blocked off both sides of Interstate-45 after the chase. At that time, officers did not know whether he was armed. Deputies then sent K-9s into the car, which bit the suspect and deputies then used a Taser to control him, Gilliland said.

The man was taken into custody. He faces multiple felony charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest.