HOUSTON--A wild high speed chase through a quiet northwest Houston neighborhood came to a crashing halt when a burglary suspect lost control of his car and slammed into a house.
A man living inside the home was pinned to a wall for a few agonizing minutes before police used a tow truck to pull away the car and free him.
Police say the incident began around 1:00 p.m. Tuesday when citizens flagged down officers and pointed out a suspected car burglar on Longpoint Road, just a short distance away from the accident scene. The suspected thief then led police on a brief but fast chase before he lost control on a curving section of Antoine Drive.
The car crashed through two chain link fences before slamming into the house. Neighbors heard the crash and saw dust and debris flying through the air.
"The car went through on the other side of the tree and hit the house and took out the whole front side of the wall into what looks like their living room," said Daniel Barrera, an attorney who saw the accident from his office across the street. "We were standing right out here and we went over to see what was going on."
Witnesses say the first police car in the chase passed the house, then turned around and pulled up to the accident scene.
"He just came upon a cloud of dust and people pointing toward the house, letting him know that’s where the suspect’s car ended up," said Houston Police Sgt. G.T. Hall.
"I went over there to check on the little girl—because my kids go over there and play with her—to make sure she was okay," said Lacie Spencer, who lives across the street. "She was fine. Her dad was pinned under the car."
Police arrested the suspected burglar, then repeatedly called for firefighters to help them free Artemio Pariano, the innocent bystander trapped by the car. They also called for wrecker drivers to come to the scene. A tow truck driver pulled the car from the wall, freeing the man who police say sustained serious injuries to his lower torso.
A relative who ran into the house after the accident said Pariona was conscious and in extreme pain.
A young woman who lived at the house identified as Yvonne Pariona, 15, was injured by falling debris, police say. Their conditions were not immediately known.
"I was scared," Spencer said, as her voice quaked, "because I live right here and it could’ve been my house."