If you were at the Mayhem Monster Truck Show Friday night at the Expo Center in Lufkin, no doubt you heard, or perhaps saw, numerous police cars engaged in a high speed pursuit.

According to a release from the Lufkin Police Department, Travis Thornton, 27, of Henderson, was arrested last night following that high-speed pursuit.

At 7:04 p.m., Lufkin Police received a report of a reckless driver in a silver Ford Fusion. The caller, who was an off-duty police officer from another agency, said the driver nearly hit his family’s vehicle, was disregarding traffic lights, driving all over the road well over the speed limit and passing vehicles on the shoulder.

As the caller continued to give the vehicle’s location, an officer waited on Loop 287 to see if he could initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle to ensure the driver was not intoxicated. The suspect vehicle then passed the officer, going 80 mph. At 7:12 p.m., the officer initiated a traffic stop, but the suspect refused to pull over.

The suspect continued northbound on U.S. 69, reaching speeds in excess of 130 mph. The suspect attempted to turn off into a gas station to lose the officer, but it did not work. He then got back onto U.S. 69 headed north.

As the suspect passed Central High School, the officer saw what he believed to be the suspect turn his head lights off and make a U-turn to head south toward Lufkin.

By the time the officer was able to safely turn his vehicle around, he could no longer tell which vehicle was the suspect vehicle. Other officers who had joined the chase continued on to Wells, to see if he had possibly continued north. The suspect was not located and the pursuit was terminated.

As officers returned to city limits, they were notified that Angelina County Sheriff’s Office deputies and DPS troopers had located the vehicle traveling south on U.S. 69 toward Lufkin.

The pursuit then started again.

Lufkin Police officers attempted to spike his tires but he was able to avoid them and continued south toward Lufkin. The chase went from U.S. 69 to Loop 287 to Atkinson Drive. The suspect continued toward Timberland Drive and turned north. From North Timberland Drive, he turned left at the North Medford Drive at Ellen Trout Drive intersection.

He fled the vehicle on foot after passing Ellen Trout Zoo. Officers quickly ran him down and took him into custody at 7:38 p.m.

After identifying Thornton, officers learned the vehicle had been reported stolen to Hudson Police Department two days earlier.

Thornton is charged with evading arrest with a vehicle and unauthorized use of a vehicle.


contributed photo/LPD
contributed photo/LPD
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