Grand jury indicts Brownfield man after wrong-way hit-and-run crash

Updated: Mar. 30, 2017 at 1:13 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Brownfield man has been indicted by a grand jury on multiple charges after a wrong-way hit-and-run crash where stolen guns were recovered.

The hit-and-run crash happened just before 9:30 p.m. on February 22, 2017 near 130th Street and Indiana Ave.

Officers say 32-year-old Christopher James Martinez of Brownfield was driving south in the northbound lanes of Indiana Avenue when he crashed into another vehicle, causing minor injuries to the other driver.

Police say Martinez and three passengers ran from the scene. Good Samaritans who were in the nearby Market Street parking lot ran after Martinez. They stopped chasing Martinez when he turned and pointed a gun at them.

At the same time, a third good Samaritan chased after another passenger who ran from the scene. He was able to catch 26-year-old Kevin Knowles and bring him back to the scene until police arrived.

Officers and a K9 unit arrived on scene and began searching for Martinez. He was found a short time later hiding behind a dumpster in the area and taken into custody. Nearby, officers found a gun that Martinez had attempted to bury in the dirt. Officers found two more firearms in the vehicle he was driving.

Police say two of the three guns had been reported stolen. They were reported stolen out of two separate vehicles. In both cases, the victims did not know if they had locked their vehicles.

Martinez faced 14 charges that included failure to stop and render aid, two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, two counts of theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence, evading on foot, failure to identify as a fugitive, possession of marijuana, and two outstanding felony warrants for evading arrest in a vehicle.

A grand jury indicted Martinez on aggravated assault with bodily injury with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon threat, and felon in possession of a firearm.

He is being held in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $28,000 bond.

Knowles was arrested for an outstanding warrant for a parole violation. After Knowles was released from jail, he was involved in a police pursuit early Friday morning and found hiding in an RV after a police pursuit ended in a crash.

The pursuit began just after 1 a.m. Friday when an officer saw a Ford Explorer driving north in the 7700 block of University without its headlights on. The officer tried to pull over the SUV, but the driver refused to stop.

After driving through neighborhood streets, the SUV ended up on the eastbound I-27 frontage road. The officer lost sight of the suspect's vehicle. The officer continued on the frontage road and saw the suspect vehicle crashed into a fence and several RVs at Billy Sims Trailer Town.

One of the passengers of the SUV was still at the scene of the crash, but the driver and front passenger were gone.

Additional officers and K9 units set up a perimeter to find the two suspects. A K9 unit found the passenger, now identified by police as 27-year-old Chelsea Clark, inside a nearby trash can. Each RV was searched and officers eventually found 26-year-old Kevin Knowles hiding inside one of the RVs.

Officials say officers also found a shotgun Knowles threw out of the vehicle during the beginning of the pursuit.

Knowles was arrested and is expected to be charged with evading in a motor vehicle, evading arrest on foot,  prohibited weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, failure to leave information (for striking a fixed object- fence), failure to leave information (for striking an unattended  vehicle – RV).

Clark was arrested and is expected to be charged with evading arrest on foot and criminal trespass.

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