Man wrecks stolen pickup, trailer after leading Vidor Police on chase along I-10
Vidor Police have released the dashcam video of a chase late last week along Interstate 10 involving a stolen pickup towing a trailer.
Robert Tunnel, 31, can be seen in the video being arrested by officers once the chase ended.
The chase started as a joint effort between Orange and Vidor police.
"He looked in the window of the truck, jumped in and took off down the roads. So I turned around and started following him," said Remington Carbaugh, owner of the stolen truck.
After Beaumont Police got a report of the stolen pickup truck and trailer, they let deputies and officers in Orange County know and provided a description of the stolen pickup.
Officers in Vidor spotted the stolen truck and trailer along Interstate 10 near Evangeline Dr around mile marker 826 in Orange County and attempted to pull it over.
"The suspect didn't slow and actually accelerated. He then began to use the trailer, which already had a blown tire that was hard to manage, as a weapon against other vehicles," said Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll.
When Tunnel didn't pull over, they began chasing the truck at what was described as "unsafe speeds."
Police did a lot of swerving in and out of lanes, a spike strip attempt, and tried to block in the suspects' stolen truck, all to get him in custody.
Vidor police were the leading agency in the chase, and they were assisted by Orange County deputies. Texas DPS did the spike strip.
The Rose City Marshal's Office and Orange Police Department were also involved in the chase.
Tunnel lost control of the truck not far from the Texas state line in Orange.
Dashcam video shows the truck and trailer striking the center median wall before spinning around, facing the wrong direction, and then driving off the interstate and stopping in the ditch alongside the interstate.
Officers can then be seen pulling Tunnel out of the truck and putting him on the hood of the police cruiser as they placed him in handcuffs.
"We saw this gentleman try to use his car twice as a weapon against law enforcement. There's no difference between him using that vehicle as a weapon, then firing a round out the window at us. And you know it's a dangerous job, and I'm very blessed that I have many good coworkers," said Carroll.
Tunnel was covered in bleach and had it in his eyes when he was arrested because there were bottles of beach in the truck's cab that spilled when he wrecked the truck, according to Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll.
The bleach ended up ruining several of the arresting officers' uniforms.
When he was arrested, Tunnel had several IDs in his possession, so he is also being charged with fraudulent use of an ID.
"We found identification and credit cards on him. From a victim of a car that was stolen the night before, the day before he had driven it around Beaumont," said Carroll.
Because one of the IDs, police believe he stole another car before stealing the pickup and trailer.
Tunnel was also wanted on a Sabine County warrant, according to police.
"He had an aggregated robbery warrant out of Sabine County and Palaria. He also had several smaller misdemeanor warrants out for him. So I'm sure that's why part of the reason that he ran besides being in a stolen vehicle," said Carroll.
Carbaugh tells 12News that he's happy to have helped.
"It makes me feel good. I think it's probably totaled, but I'm happy we got the guy, and we do have our property back," said Carbaugh.
Tunnel is now in Orange County Jail after being released from the hospital.
He's facing charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Jefferson County and evading arrest in a motor vehicle with a previous conviction in Orange County.
His bond is on hold due to his other charges.