SAN ANGELO, TX — The red pickup truck stolen that was the vehicle used in the long 60-mile chase Saturday night was stolen in Abilene, the truck’s owner confirmed.
Jerry Cumbie, who is in the oil and gas business and loves Texas Country music, said his son had stopped at a 7-11 on Highway 351 at I-20 in Abilene and didn’t take the keys out of the ignition before walking inside the convenience store to shop.
“The perp missed his bus and the lady (in the store) said he was mad so I guess he just saw an opportunity,” Cumbie said. “Thankfully it had GPS on it.”
We still are not certain where law enforcement started the chase other than somewhere in Runnels county. Yet, Cumbie provided video of the earliest part of the chase as his red truck raced through Miles on US 67 pursued by several law enforcement vehicles. But before that, his GPS tracker showed his truck traveling at 123 mph as it approached Ballinger from Abilene on US 83. At about a mile outside the west side of Ballinger, the truck was clocked at 134 mph on US 67. The suspect driving the truck was chased by law enforcement onward through San Angelo to Cooper’s Barbecue in the small town of Christoval, a bedroom community about 22 miles south of the city.
The top speed for the chase was 154 mph, Cumbie said.
Here are photos of the infamous red truck that was stolen:
Iziah Rodriguez, 25, was booked into the Tom Green County Detention Center just after midnight. He was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Evading Arrest or Detention with a Vehicle, and Evading Arrest or Detention.
Police, sheriff’s deputies, DPS and even the Texas Game Warden were seen chasing a red pickup at a high rate of speed through San Angelo Saturday evening. Reports of the chase started with witnesses calling us about watching the spectacle on the Houston Harte Expressway. The chase party exited the loop at College Hills and continued on the service road to Knickerbocker Road before turning southwest headed towards the airport.
Whizzing past the airport, the gaggle stayed on FM 584 where the red pickup turned south onto US 277 headed towards Christoval. When we caught the chase, the suspect had parked and fled his pickup and faded into the crowd at Cooper’s Barbecue. An officer told us the chase originated in Runnels County.
Playing at Cooper’s Saturday night was Randall King and the driver of the red pickup was either a huge fan or he used the crowd as a way to evade law enforcement on foot. Officers were also seen checking into every dumpster around.
Sometime later the suspect who police believe fled appeared outside the Tres Amigos Convenience Store next door to Cooper’s while sporting a brand new shirt. According to Leslie Levario, who said she was the cashier there, “We closed the store for a good couple of hours before an officer gave us the OK to reopen because they couldn't find him. And they were positive he wasn't in the area anymore. Shortly after, he walked right into our store!”
Levario said out in the parking lot area when he was identified as the suspect, he ran into the store followed by law enforcement.
“They arrested him right in front of me,” she said.
Randall King tweeted that the suspect purchased a Randall King concert shirt after he ran inside the concert area of Cooper’s. Spectators at the show said they were surprised when law enforcement entered the concert area with long guns drawn.
“We were at Cooper’s when the police came running in with AR’s! It was quite scary!” stated Marsha McGrew who was there otherwise enjoying the concert.
Police have not officially released information about the chase. However, Rodriguez was the only man arrested and charged overnight with evading police in a motor vehicle.
One of the members of the opening band performing, Bryan Martin, recalled of Saturday night:
"Yea… so this happened while I was in the middle of my set tonight at coopers… murderer on the run ends his high speed chase by crashing backstage ditches his bag under my bus… sneaks in side stage buys a Randall king shirt and tries blending in the crowd.. we stopped show 30 of west texas finest come in Loaded for a fight.. AR’s Drawn I tried to help keep it light on stage.. and with a lil over 30 minute delay they apprehended him and we continued the show… shout-out to Law Enforcement and everyone involved.. condolences to victims.. and thanks to the crowd for hanging in there with us.. glad no one in crowd was hurt.. Randall King kicked ass.. taking a break from ya texas atleast til next month… yall wild…" Posted on Bryan Martin Official on Facebook.
Cumbie said his truck is still at Home Motors on Christoval Road until he can arrive there tomorrow morning and assess how to fix the tires. He said the spikes that finally stopped the suspect where laid across the roadway by Tom Green County Sheriff's Deputies near Cooper's.