The Texas Department of Public Safety accuses a 19-year-old man who led them on a multi-city chase late last week of intentionally trying to run over a trooper during the high-speed pursuit.
A probable cause affidavit for Manuel Morales’ arrest also reveals that another trooper fired her weapon at the man’s vehicle in an attempt to shoot his tires.
Morales is charged with attempted murder and evading arrest and remains jailed on $1.1 million in bonds, records show.
The pursuit began at around 9:40 a.m. on Aug. 20 when two troopers saw a black Chrysler 300 traveling northbound at a high rate of speed on Cesar Chavez Road south of SH 495.
According to the affidavit, a trooper turned around and tried to conduct a traffic stop, but Morales refused and the chase ensued westbound on Expressway 83 with Morales allegedly driving recklessly and almost striking other vehicles.
“Trooper Amanda Flores attempted to spike the suspect vehicle. The driver of the suspect vehicle drove across the highway from the far left inside shoulder towards Trooper Flores who was positioned on the far right outside shoulder and intentionally attempted to strike her with its vehicle,” the affidavit stated.
A video of the incident that circulated on social media shows a trooper nearly being struck by a vehicle and diving out of the way to avoid being hit. In the video, the trooper appears to avoid being hit by the black vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed by a foot or less. The trooper in the video appeared to be setting a spike trap.
As the pursuit continued westbound on the highway, DPS alleges that Morales “attempted to strike another marked DPS unit from the rear.”
At some point in the chase, a trooper shot at the vehicle.
“Trooper Diaz un-holstered her duty weapon and fired several shots at the suspect vehicle’s tires,” the affidavit stated.
The affidavit does not include Diaz’s first name.
As the 19-year-old neared Rio Grande City, an officer there deployed a spike trap and successfully stopped Morales, who then crashed into a post, according to the charging document.
DPS said several occupants of the vehicle were undocumented. Those individuals were turned over to Border Patrol and were provided medical treatment.