CARROLLTON and DALLAS, Texas (CBS11) – It was a high-speed pursuit reaching speeds of 115 miles an hour through three North Texas cities and captured in dramatic video.
The Carrollton Police officer who led the pursuit of a suspected drunk driver described the harrowing chase on Tuesday night only to CBS11.
The dash cam in Carrollton Police Officer Wes Crowder’s patrol car captured a pickup truck swerving and hitting curbs before he decided to pull the driver over on Belt Line Road.
“He appeared to be driving very aggressively in and then when he ran over a curb I thought there was probably something to this,” says Crowder.
But the driver had other ideas and after a brief stop, accelerated and began what would become a high speed chase.
Crowder spends most of his days on patrol riding a bike.
But the veteran officer kept his cool behind the wheel as speeds reached 115 miles an hour on I-35 heading south into Dallas.
“It wasn’t too hard to keep up with him we do a lot of training here and I’m driving safety I put the training to good use try to keep a safe distance from him and just follow as best as I could,” says Crowder.
When the chase reached a construction zone the pickup driver struck a Dallas Police patrol car, injuring an officer inside.
“We approached the construction zone it was a little hard to see so I started backing off the gas and I guess he didn’t,” he says.
But when Officer Crowder pulled up behind the truck, the driver got out and started running.
“I’m not gonna run past a vehicle may have somebody else that’s ready to ambush me sitting in the vehicle,” he says.
Crowder knew other officers were up ahead waiting.
The 28-year-old suspect identified later as Ruben Prada Vargas was eventually arrested but not before police said he tried to carjack someone using a knife.
Crowder’s persistence and training paid off.
“Safety is number one thing here but we’re the police we don’t back down, if you’re going to run we’re going to chase you,” says Crowder.
Vargas may have escaped a possible DWI charge, but he traded it for multiple felonies including evading arrest and aggravated assault of a Dallas officer who was hospitalized and released.