Remember those intimidating, oppressive, surplus military vehicles that are being taken away from police departments across the country? Well, one was used to finally put an end to a cross-county stolen 18-wheeler chase last week in Texas. The special response vehicle, used by the Hunt County Sheriff’s SWAT team was positioned in front of the truck after it had come to a halt and used as a position to fire tear gas into the cabin which ultimately ended the standoff. The man was arrested and the dog who was in the cabin was left with relatives, and not taken to a shelter.
The full story of the chase and resolution is below:
Jan. 13–Units from multiple law enforcement agencies followed a reportedly stolen 18-wheeler across four counties Wednesday, before the slow-speed pursuit finally ended along the interstate 30 service road in Greenville.
The driver of the truck, identified as David Allen Arnold, 60, Burkeville, Va., was being held in local custody Wednesday evening, after he was arrested following a brief standoff, which involved SWAT units, an armored car and the use of tear gas.
No one was injured during the chase, which began in Kaufman County Wednesday morning when the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office began pursuing an 18-wheeler which had been reported stolen.
The chase continued along Highway 80 to the LBJ/635 freeway in Dallas and then onto eastbound Interstate 30.
Officers deployed spike sticks and several of the tires on the tractor trailer were deflated. But the chase continued through Rockwall County and entered Hunt County, at which time Arnold exited onto the south service road.
Speeds only reached 35 to 40 mph and continued into Greenville along the south service road of Interstate 30, ending when Arnold reached the dead end just past the former Mary of Puddin Hill store.
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said Arnold refused to exit the truck, and also had a dog in the passenger seat.
“We were asked by DPS to deploy our SWAT unit,” Meeks said. “I called our SWAT unit in as well as the Greenville Police Department SWAT team. We also deployed our Special Response Vehicle 6×6. We attempted negotiations with the suspect and we had no luck. A combination of the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and the Greenville Police Department’s SWAT team approached the parked truck inside the SRV vehicle. Two rounds of 40 millimeter of CS gas were shot into the cab of the 18-wheeler and the dog and the suspect exited the vehicle on the passenger side.”
Arnold was taken into custody without incident and was transported to the Hunt County Detention Center, where he was being held on one count each of theft of property of the value of between $20,000 and $100,000 amd evading arrest/detention with a vehicle. Bond had not been set as of Wednesday evening.
The dog, a Labrador mix, was transported to the City of Greenville Animal Control Shelter.
“Anytime officers or civilians are not injured in an incident like this and the bad guy goes to jail is a good day,” Meeks said.
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