Close Call for DPS Trooper in High Speed Chase on I-35; Two Arrested

A high speed chase down I-35 Monday ended with two arrests but not before a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper was nearly spun out in his cruiser by one of the suspects, according to DPS spokesman, Sgt. Bryan Washko.

It started north of Waco around 8:30 a.m. when DPS was alerted to a Toyota Tacoma speeding south on I-35. Washko said a check of the license plate revealed it was stolen.

As a DPS trooper began chasing it, the driver of a Nissan Sentra pulled alongside the trooper and tried to crash into it. Washko said the trooper managed to safely avoid it.

At that point, DPS was chasing both vehicles at speeds topping 100 mph.

The Sentra exited at the Troy exit. As he was driving down the access road, a trooper performed a pit maneuver causing the driver to lose control and crash.

Washko said the driver jumped out and ran across the southbound and northbound lanes of I-35. The trooper followed him and managed to tackle him and make the arrest. 

Washko said it’s amazing they made it across the highway considering how busy it normally is. The suspect was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Meanwhile, the driver of the Tacoma continued south into Temple and took the Adams Ave. exit. He then started going north on the access road. Another trooper once again used a pit maneuver causing the Tacoma to roll over several times before coming to rest upside down. The suspect was not seriously injured.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before where you’re chasing a vehicle and someone tries to ram you,” Washko said.

Washko said Rosendo Lopez, 27, was driving the Tacoma. Damon Joe Gutierrez, 29, was driving the Sentra. Both men are from Dallas. They were both in the McLennan County Jail Tuesday.

Washko said it’s likely the men were connected in someway but it was unclear how. The case remained under investigation.

Written by Jim Hice

Categories: Police, Waco

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