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San Marcos Police utilized the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) to successfully bring two vehicle pursuits to a safe conclusion.
“These are great examples of our personnel safely and effectively utilizing tactical and pursuit training techniques in real life situations,” said Chief Chase Stapp. “I’m very proud of the actions of our officers to remedy two potentially dangerous auto pursuits and to keep our community safe.”
The PIT maneuver is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways by bumping it from the side near the rear wheel, causing the vehicle to spin out and temporarily stalling the engine. The technique is typically used by law enforcement officers as a safer alternative with which to bring car chases to a conclusion. Members of the San Marcos Police Department receive recurring training in the use of this technique.
Monday, May 7
Yesterday evening at approximately 8:08 p.m., SMPD units were dispatched to assist Kyle Police with a vehicle stolen from Austin. After following the vehicle inside San Marcos city limits, Kyle officers initiated a traffic stop near the 204 Southbound IH35 mile marker. The driver of the vehicle elected not to stop and evaded at a high rate of speed. San Marcos Police units joined the pursuit as the vehicle exited the 201 Southbound IH35 exit at McCarty Lane.The suspect vehicle, a white Toyota Tacoma (TXLP JWH7462), took the south-to-north turnaround at McCarty and proceeded northbound on the IH35 access road reaching high speeds before turning right onto Wonder World Drive proceeding eastbound. The vehicle passed under the SH123 overpass and continued onto Redwood Road making a right turn onto FM 1979 and proceeded back toward SH123. The vehicle then turned on SH123 and traveled back toward IH35.
SMPD officers staged at SH123 and Redwood Road with spike strips, but were unable to deploy them due to the proximity of pursuit vehicles to the suspect vehicle. As a result, San Marcos Police utilized a Ford Explorer patrol unit to perform the PIT maneuver on the lifted 4x4 suspect vehicle and the vehicle stopped in the right turn lane from SH123 to the IH35 northbound access road in front of Red Lobster. A high risk stop was conducted and four juvenile males were taken into custody by Kyle Police (KPD Case #2018-14105). The San Marcos patrol unit suffered no damage other than scuff marks to the rubber on the push bumper.
Tuesday, May 8
This morning at approximately 2:20 a.m., San Marcos Police observed a 2003 Ford Mustang traveling east near the 900 block of W. Hopkins Street from Jack’s Road House. The vehicle could not maintain a lane and it was believed the driver may have been intoxicated. Following an attempted traffic stop near Hopkins and Johnson Street where the vehicle failed to yield, the officer followed the vehicle on Hopkins as it drove at relatively slow speeds. As the vehicle turned north onto Thorpe Lane, the officer realized the vehicle would not stop and for the safety of the community attempted a PIT maneuver. He was unsuccessful and the vehicle continued turning onto Aquarena Springs Drive toward IH35.
Not wanting the vehicle to enter the Interstate, the officer again performed the PIT and was successful. However the driver was able to regain control of the vehicle and rammed into the front of a second patrol unit. The driver was not cooperative and had to be physically removed from the vehicle which resulted in the bridge of his nose hitting the ground. The subject refused treatment from medics at the scene; as a result, SMPD transported him to Central Texas Medical Center for medical clearance where doctors advised he had a broken nose and wanted to perform additional testing that required him to be sober. Officers released him to their care and are pursuing warrants.
Charges for offender Raymundo Hernandez (5/23/86), 123 Uhland Rd, San Marcos, are expected to include Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While License is Invalid (DWLI), Evading in a Motor Vehicle and Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant. The police vehicle was not damaged during the PIT maneuver.
If convicted, Hernandez faces up to 99 years in prison for the most serious offense and a fine not to exceed $10,000.