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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oklahoma man arrested after strange police chase in Amarillo

AMARILLO, TEXAS -- An Oklahoma man was arrested by Amarillo police after leading them on a chase Monday evening. 

The suspect, 33-year-old Chad Alon Carpenter of Glenpool, Okla., was booked on preliminary charges of two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, evading in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, unlawfully carrying a weapon and two counts of assault on a public servant, police said.

 At about 8:30 p.m., police said it was reported to them that a man in a white truck with Oklahoma pointed a handgun at a person on a motorcycle near the area of 45th and Western. The caller was able to supply police with a tag number and description of the vehicle.

 About an hour later, police said they received a report about a white 2000 Ford Explorer. According to police, the driver of the Explorer was seen pulling in front of another driver, stopping suddenly and nearly causing a collision near the area of 45th and Western. Police said two people in a black 1995 Honda coupe pulled up next to the Explorer and exchanged words. The driver then, according to police, fired a shot into the Honda's right fender.

 The Explorer fled and the two people inside the Honda followed it to a convenience store at 45th and Maverick, police said. Police arrived and attempted to take the suspect into custody but he reached toward his waistband, got in the vehicle and fled south on Western. Officers said they lost sight of the vehicle near Catalpa and South Western. The vehicle was then sighted near Interstate 27 and Georgia a short time later.

Police said they tried to stop the vehicle again but the driver sped away. Police said the pursuit continued south and west but was discontinued as the suspect approached the area of 45th and Bell.

 "At one point, officers had discontinued pursuit as he was approaching 45th and Bell at a high rate of speed so they pulled out of the chase," explained Amarillo Police Department's Sgt. Brent Barbee. "He was sited a few minutes later and again the officers tried to stop him."

 The pursuit continued when the suspect was seen turning westbound on Arden from Bell. The vehicle then continued to Coulter and then south of the Loop, police said. Tire spikes were set up near Hillside and Soncy. The spokes punctured three of the suspect's tires, police said.

He continued north to Interstate 40 where police blocked traffic. According to police, the suspect was driving on three rims and turned on the frontal road. Police said he drove over a curb and stopped just west of Bell Street. Police said the suspect then got out and ignored officer's commands to stop and started to walk away. He was tackled by office and resisted arrest, police said.

Officers used a taser to gain control of the suspect, police said. "He continued to resist pretty violently and had to be transported to the hospital and be medically cleared and then he was booked in jail with a number of charges," added Sgt. Barbee. 

A loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol was located in the front of the suspect's pants. "It's always a balancing act between the risk to the public versus the risk of allowing this person to continue," said Sgt. Barbee.

 "This was an uncommonly high-risk situation where we had a guy we knew was involved in a shooting and we had to stick pretty close with him a little longer than we would for the average chase." Texas Department of Public Safety and Randall County deputies assisted the Amarillo Police Department with the chase.

Update: ****UPDATED 5-5-12******The Randall County District Attorney’s Office has accepted four felony charges against Chad Alon Carpenter. The first three are aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Two charges stem from the shot fired that struck the vehicle containing two people. The third charge was filed on behalf of the motorcyclist that had been the victim of the earlier assault. That man, a WM 40 of Amarillo, reported that he had been southbound in the 3200 block of S. Western when the suspect vehicle was behind him and nearly struck him.

 The victim changed lanes to get out of the man’s way. Both stopped at the light at 34th and S. Western. After an exchange of words, the suspect produced a handgun and pointed it at him. The victim drove away and later contacted police about the incident. Prosecutors also accepted one charge of evading in a motor vehicle. Prosecutors in Potter County are reviewing the reports of events at the arrest scene to decide if additional charges are appropriate.

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