Atascosa County, TX – A man on an “extended methamphetamine binge” stole a police car and tried to run over as many police officers, and crash into as many patrol vehicles, as he could on Labor Day weekend (video below).
Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward said the incident began at about 6 p.m. on Sept. 4 when 47-year-old Reynaldo R. Ruiz crashed his vehicle into the back of a Poteet police car that was stopped at a stop sign, KSAT reported.
Sheriff Soward said Ruiz fled the scene and the officer whose vehicle he’d struck pursued him to a nearby convenience store.
But when the Poteet officer caught up, the sheriff said Ruiz intentionally rammed his vehicle into the front of the officer’s patrol unit again, causing both vehicles to become disabled, KSAT reported.
Ruiz fled the scene on foot.
Bystanders helped the officer out of his wrecked vehicle while an Atascosa County deputy sheriff and the animal control chief investigator chased after Ruiz, KSAT reported.
Sheriff Soward said the suspect was apprehended after a brief foot chase.
The sheriff said Ruiz was handcuffed and placed in the back of a Poteet patrol unit, KSAT reported.
He somehow managed to slip out of his handcuffs and get out of the vehicle, according to Sheriff Soward.
Officers tried to take Ruiz back into custody, but he jumped into the driver’s seat of the police SUV he’d escaped from and took off, KSAT reported.
Cell phone video filmed by a bystander showed the wild chase as it made its way through town.
Gunshot were heard in the video as the suspect careened around a corner with police in hot pursuit.
“The suspect began driving the stolen police car recklessly and was driving at a high rate of speed toward a fire truck and several firefighters,” Sheriff Soward wrote on his department’s Facebook page.
“A DPS Trooper who had arrived at the scene observed the suspects behavior and believed he was going to ram the firetruck and fired 3 shots at the stolen police car,” the sheriff wrote.
“The suspect redirected his direction of travel. Several law enforcement units pursued the suspect in the stolen police car towards Pleasanton on FM 476 where he nearly went head-on with motorist,” the sheriff continued. “The suspect went down Main Street in Pleasanton and attempted to run over a Pleasanton Police Officer. The suspect made a U-turn and drove back north on Main Street where a Deputy Sheriff fired 4 shots at the fleeing suspect due to his attempts to harm other officers and the public.”
The suspect headed back to Poteet at that point with law enforcement in pursuit, KSAT reported.
Just before he got to Jourdanton, Ruiz crashed into Poteet Police Chief B. Hickman’s vehicle, ending the chase.
Ruiz continued to resist arrest at the scene of the wreck, according to the sheriff.
Sheriff Soward said officers were only able to gain control of the suspect after a deputy sheriff deployed a Taser at Ruiz.
Ruiz was transported to Methodist Atascosa Hospital after the crash, KSAT reported.
He was released after he was treated and booked into the Atascosa County Jail.
Ruiz told investigating officers that he had been on an “extended methamphetamine binge” when he went on his rampage, KSAT reported.
He also admitted that he had tried to hit as many police cars, and run over as many police officers, as possible during the chase.
Ruiz has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon and felony escape, KSAT reported.
Pleasanton police also plan to file a charge of one count of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon against the suspect.
It was expected that additional charges would be filed against the suspect as the investigation progressed, KSAT reported.
Sheriff Soward said none of the law enforcement officer involved in the incident sustained any serious injuries.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: