There appear to be no hard feelings between a suspected car thief who totaled a stolen Lexus during a daring high-speed pursuit Monday along the South Freeway and the car’s owner, the man told Chron.com.
Amil Mikahiel said he was buying a new washer at Home Depot along the Gulf Freeway near South Loop 610 when the suspect allegedly stole his early model Lexus SUV around 3 p.m. Mikahiel only noticed when he went outside and saw his vehicle was gone.
Panicked, he called 911 to report the theft. He had installed a GPS tracking system on the car and was relaying the car’s location to police, who spotted it near Wheeler and Calhoun near the University of Houston around 3:20 p.m., police said.
That’s when the suspect, who was not immediately identified, sped off, police said. He allegedly led them on a high-speed pursuit down the South Freeway to just north of Beltway 8 before turning back north and snaking through the Third Ward.
He eventually hopped back on the South Freeway, heading southbound, when he crashed violently into water barrels at the Southmore exit, scattering debris and severely injuring himself.
Mikahiel followed the GPS to where the Lexus crashed and ran onto the freeway as paramedics loaded the suspect into an ambulance.
“Of course, I felt so bad because the car is wrecked and is a total loss,” he said. “I’m sorry about the car. The guy, I think he’s in pretty bad shape right now.”
He admits he’s mad that his car was wrecked ( it was recently purchased, judging by the temporary paper plates on the trunk), but he still felt sorry for the driver. The suspect wasn’t wearing a seat belt, police on scene said, and he hit his head on the windshield in the collision, leaving a giant, basketball-shaped gash in the glass.
“I hope he feels better after all this,” Mikahiel said. “He’s a human being. For a piece of metal, we lose a human being?”
Suspects who lead police on vehicle pursuits are typically charged with evading in a motor vehicle, a felony.
Jay R. Jordan covers breaking news in the Houston area. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com | Follow him on Twitter at @JayRJordan | Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message