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OFFICER AVOIDS INJURY IN PANORAMA VILLAGE

Just after 2:00 p.m. Panorama Village Officer Ray Wilkins was on patrol in the quiet community west of Interstate 45 between League Line Road and FM 830. As he approached the 100 block of Panorama Drive a white Chevrolet pickup exited a driveway almost striking Wilkins patrol car.

Officer Wilkins activated his lights and pulled over the white male identified as Tony Mark Clifton, 46 of Willis. After Wilkins approached the vehicle and retrieved Cliftons drivers license the suspect fled on foot.

A short foot pursuit took place until the suspect jumped back into his truck and put it in reverse attempting to run the officer over. Fearing for his life and safety Wilkins discharged his weapon into the rear f the truck striking and penetrating the fender into the tire.

Clifton put it in drive and fled about a block when he realized his left rear tire was flat. He once again jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the woods. Wilkins attempted to follow into the heavy brush but unaware if the suspect could be armed waited for back up to arrive.

Conroe Police, U.S. Forest Service Rangers, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies  and Precinct 1 Constables responded to the call for help. Immediately the wooded area was surrounded. Units watched the movie theatre parking lot as others set up a perimeter along League Line, FM 830 and Interstate 45.

One of the K-9 Deputies from Precinct 1 entered the woods with his dog and a Forest Service Ranger . The dog immediately picked up the track and started heading towards Interstate 45. As the dog approached Interstate 45 Clifton ran out of the woods and almost directly into the waiting arms of Conroe Police Officer Blackwelder and a Precinct 1 Deputy Constable.

The suspect was returned to the scene exhausted and sweating for his trip to the Montgomery County Jail.

Phil Grant with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene along with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Crime Investigator. It is normal procedure of the District Attorney’s Office since Brett Ligon took over to make any scenes where and officer discharged a weapon.

The only charge Clifton would have faced was for not having insurance. He had no open warrants. He is now charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and evading arrest.

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