Crime

South Austin police chase ends with passerby injured

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- An attempt by Austin police officers to stop several men suspected of burglarizing a home ended in a car crash with a passerby, according to an arrest affidavit.

Court records state police put out an alert for men accused of burglarizing a home in South Austin near Slaughter and Manchaca on Tuesday afternoon. Around 1:15 p.m., within a few minutes of the call, an officer spotted the suspect vehicle on William Cannon near Cannonleague Drive. The officer said when he tried to pull the car over, the driver, Antonio Sanchez, 24, sped up and led police on a chase.

The officer says the driver was traveling around 76 mph when he approached the intersection of William Cannon and Emerald Forest. At the intersection of William Cannon and Cooper Lane, the driver ran a red light and hit another car, injuring the driver, according to the affidavit.

Patrick Costigan was in the middle of the intersection waiting to make a turn when the crash happened. "I could see out the corner of my eye this [car] coming at me and it seemed like it was 50 miles an hour," recalls Costigan. "I didn't' know what it was. I stepped on the gas, and just about that time he hit me in the back part of the car and it spun me around."

After the collision, the officer saw the right front passenger, Steven Flores, jump out of the moving car but ended up getting dragged by the car for several feet. Shortly after that, Sanchez and a third man, Tyla Sanchez, 26, bailed out of the car and tried to run away from police, continued in the affidavit.

"I could actually see them up William Cannon by Bedichek and they stopped and jumped over the fence and started running," says Costigan.

Even though he was an innocent victim, Costigan understands the debate on police chases. "I hear about these things happening and if you have a policy if you're not going to chase anybody, does that just encourage people to do more crime? I don't know."

Police arrested Antonio Sanchez and charged him with evading in a motor vehicle and failure to stop and render aid. Tyla Sanchez was arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation. Flores, 26, is also charged with burglary of a habitation.

Costigan managed to walk away with no more then a few bumps and bruises but says he was "very fortunate."


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