A dramatic high speed chase through Dallas Wednesday afternoon came to an end when the suspect slammed into the back of a minivan, prompting the parents inside to beat the suspect and subdue him until police arrived moments later.
Police first responded to a call about an armed robbery and carjacking. Drecelus Hunter said he was walking to his white Dodge Challenger when Artrai Alexander pulled a gun on him and demanded his vehicle.
A short time later, authorities located the stolen vehicle, and it initially appeared that Alexander was going to stop. However, according to reports from a local ABC affiliate, Alexander continued to flee in the stolen vehicle, and led police on a nearly half hour-long high speed chase.
But when Alexander came to a red light crowded with cars in a school zone, he slammed into the back of three vehicles. One of those vehicles was a minivan driven by a couple, Charles Cook and Jessica Liesmann, on their way to pick up their daughter from school. The couple’s 13-year-old son, T.J., was also in the car at the time of the accident.
After checking to see that T.J. was okay, the couple immediately got out of the vehicle and Liesmann headed toward Alexander to confront him for his dangerous behavior through a school zone. The couple wrestled with Alexander, and Liesmann repeatedly punched him. Cook eventually backed off, but Liesmann continued to hit Alexander until police arrived moments later and subdued him.
“I think he ran up against a mama bear,” an officer on the scene said.
“I didn’t even think. I just jumped out,” Liesmann told a local CBS affiliate after the incident.
Liesmann, who lost her 4-year-old son to epilepsy six months ago, said all she could think of was her kid and not letting Alexander get away.
T.J., although visibly upset over the ordeal, was uninjured, as were both of his parents. Two people were injured during the accident and were taken to the hospital by ambulance. Their conditions are not currently known.
Alexander was arrested and charged for hit-and-run and aggravated robbery. Authorities also confirmed that a gun was found in the stolen vehicle.
However, Alexander said it wasn’t his fault and, although he’s sorry he hit the family’s minivan, said they should be grateful.
“I actually could have pulled that gun,” Alexander said in an interview. “They should be grateful, yeah, that I didn’t pull the gun on them,” he reiterated.
Alexander admitted he stole the vehicle, but only after the owner of the car allegedly pulled a gun on him. Additionally, Alexander said he only fled because he feared the police were going to shoot him.
“They should have been more upset at the police for chasing me,” Alexander said of the couple in the minivan.