ANGLETON -- Federal authorities are investigating a bizarre turn of events that occurred in Angleton on Wednesday.
Police said 41-year-old Chris Mathis. of Van Zandt, Texas, first used his pickup truck as a road block to stop traffic along Highway 288 in Angleton Wednesday morning.
Officials said Mathis then rammed this truck into two businesses just a few miles away, apparently on purpose. It left skid marks in the parking lots in the 900 block of North Loop 274.
Witnesses say a Buc-ee’s was first, and Walgreens was next.
“And that’s when police caught up with him and he took off,” said Sgt. Quenton Rush with the Angleton Police Department.
The chase did not last long and no one was hurt. But hours after they arrested Mathis, police were called to the Angleton RV Park by a suspicious manager.
That’s where authorities discovered what appeared to be a homemade bomb inside Mathis’ travel trailer.
Through an open door, police could see a propane tank with an electronic device on the side. The Houston Police Department Bomb Squad was called to the scene. They confirmed it was in fact a bomb.
Authorities evacuated residents.
“That’s kind of scary to know that this guy had lived there,” neighbor Ava Mandrell said.
Police said the FBI is now investigating. Investigators do not know what was in the tank or how powerful a blast it could have caused.
Had it not been for Mathis’s strange behavior, authorities believe it is unlikely they would have ever found the bomb.
“It probably wouldn’t have turned out very good for anybody at the whole park,” Sgt. Rush said.
Whatever Mathis was doing, Rush believes he was doing it alone. As of Wednesday evening, Mathis faces six serious charges, including Evading Arrest or Detention, Criminal Mischief (SJF), Agg. Assault on a Public Servant, Resisting Arrest or Transport, Obstructing Highway or Other Roadway, and Shoplifting.
He is being held on $100,000 bond.