A suspect accused of driving away from a traffic stop and then fleeing the scene of a subsequent crash with another vehicle is still at large.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is looking for the driver of a Dodge Challenger who allegedly led police in a chase on the Dallas North Tollway near Frisco on Monday. His name has not been released by authorities.
“The suspect is a black male wearing all gray, so if you see the suspect in [the] area, don’t confront him, don’t approach him, call 911, and let them know where you saw him,” said DPS spokesperson Sgt. Tony De La Cerda, according to NBC 5 DFW.
State troopers initially tried pulling the Dodge Charger over for a traffic violation in the northbound lanes of the Dallas North Tollway. However, the driver sped off once one of the troopers approached his vehicle, according to reports. The suspect allegedly made a U-turn, struck an oncoming car, and then fled on foot.
An unnamed passenger inside the suspect’s vehicle was taken into custody. Troopers purportedly found marijuana and a pistol in the car. The passenger was also hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the crash. No information about the other vehicle involved in the accident was provided.
North Texas authorities are also on the lookout for two inmates, Raymond Ross and Ramon Perez, who escaped from Fannin County jail on Saturday, as previously covered by The Dallas Express. They were still on the run as of print date, and no sightings have been reported.
Evading arrest or detention is typically classified as a Class A or B misdemeanor in Texas, but when it occurs in a vehicle, it is upgraded to a state felony and thus is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that fatalities in Texas caused by crashes involving a suspect fleeing police have doubled between 2011 and 2021, rising from 34 to 72.
In Dallas, vehicle-related crimes have taken off, especially with the city becoming a hot spot for auto thieves. As of November 28, 17,103 instances of motor vehicle theft were reported, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard.
While this kind of crime is notoriously difficult to solve, the Dallas Police Department has also been laboring against a longstanding officer shortage. It deploys fewer than 3,200 officers while a City analysis previously recommended that DPD needs upwards of 4,000 officers to properly maintain public safety.
Auto thefts are especially common in Downtown Dallas, which logs considerably more of these offenses than Fort Worth’s city center, which is patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit and private security guards.