Stiff Penalties Await Those Who Run From the Law - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/28/05

Stiff Penalties Await Those Who Run From the Law

Just last week, one man led police on a high speed chase. He rammed his vehicle into a police car injuring the police officer. That man faces attempted capital murder, while some chases have deadly endings.

Eight years ago, 21-year-old Stephanie King led Lubbock police and DPS on a 50 minutes chase through Lubbock. Lubbock police were able to hit the truck she was driving causing her to loose control. Police shot her when they saw she had a gun and she later died.

Last November, police chased Paul Honesto through Lubbock. Honesto ended the chase on the 66th Street bridge over the Interstate. Honesto attempted to jump, but police amazingly caught Honesto by his leg before he went over.

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Lieutenant Roy Bassett says the police department deals with three pursuits a week, which means approximately 156 a year. He says people run from the police because of a number of reasons, either the driver has been drinking, possession of drugs or has hundreds of dollars in traffic warrants. "The percentage of people who are successful in escaping police in a car chase is very small. There are always significant charges added on at the end of the police chase," said Bassett.

Evading arrest is a felony charge, punishable of up to 2 years in a state jail. Judge Jim Bob Darnell says if a suspect runs red lights, hits cars, and injures someone, then the suspect faces, not only evading charges, but a stack of others. "Most of the time when it's not involving a case where a person is charged with additional charges such as aggravated assault or attempted murder, they will get probation," said Darnell.

In the case of Honesto, his attorney says his client is in the middle of negotiations with prosecutors.

Also, Jarret Austin led New Deal police and DPS on a car chase. He was convicted in January for evading arrest. He is serving 150 days in a state jail.

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