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San Marcos police assist in two pursuits, including arrest of juveniles in stolen pickup

The San Marcos Police Department successfully used the pursuit intervention technique to bring two pursuits in two days to a safe conclusion.
Credit: The University Star

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- San Marcos police successfully ended two vehicular pursuits in two days, one of which resulted in the arrest of four juveniles in a reportedly stolen pickup truck.

Police said on Monday around 8:08 p.m., San Marcos police units were called to aid Kyle police with a vehicle reported stolen from Austin. After following the vehicle into San Marcos, officers from the Kyle Police Department initiated a traffic stop. The driver then allegedly chose not to stop and evaded at a high rate of speed, exiting at the I-35 exit at McCarty Lane. San Marcos police then joined in the pursuit.

According to police, the vehicle, a white Toyota Tacoma, took the south-to-north turnaround at McCarty and proceeded northbound on the I-35 access road reaching high speeds before turning onto Wonder World Drive. The vehicle continued back toward State Highway 123 and then back toward I-35.

San Marcos police staged at SH 123 and Redwood Road with spike strips but said they were unable to deploy them due to the close proximity of pursuit vehicles to the suspect vehicle. At this point, police said officers used the pursuit intervention technique (PIT) and the vehicle stopped in the right turn lane from SH 123 in front of Red Lobster.

A high-risk traffic stop was conducted and four juvenile males were taken into custody by Kyle police. According to police, the SMPD vehicle suffered no damage other than scuff marks.

On Tuesday around 2:20 a.m., the SMPD attempted to stop a 2003 Ford Mustang traveling east near the 900 block of W. Hopkins Street who was suspect of drunken driving. Police said the driver would not yield to a traffic stop and continued to travel onto Thorpe Lane. At this point, police initiated a failed PIT maneuver and the suspect continued to drive onto Aquarena Springs Drive toward I-35.

To prevent the vehicle from entering I-35, a PIT attempt was initiated again successfully. Police said the driver was able to regain control of the vehicle and rammed into the front of a second patrol unit. The first unit was not damaged.

The driver reportedly had to be physically removed from the vehicle and was injured in the altercation when his nose hit the ground. The suspect, 31-year-old Raymundo Hernandez, police said was taken to the Central Texas Medical Center where doctors advised he had a broken nose.

Hernandez of San Marcos is expected to be charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while license is invalid, evading a motor vehicle and aggravated assault on a public servant. If convicted, police say he could face up to 99 years in prison for the most serious offense and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The SMPD used the PIT to bring the two pursuits to a safe conclusion, a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways by bumping it form the side near the wheel, causing it to spin out and temporarily stall its engine.

“These are great examples of our personnel safely and effectively utilizing tactical and pursuit training techniques in real life situations,” said Chief Chase Stapp. “I’m very proud of the actions of our officers to remedy two potentially dangerous auto pursuits and to keep our community safe.”