Shenandoah Police: Thankful it was 3 a.m.

HARRIS COUNTY- Following a two-county pursuit and foot-chase, Shenandoah police arrested 26-year-old Dave Sherale Whitaker of Houston. He is charged with theft (greater than $1,500, less than $20,000); unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; felon in possession of a firearm; and evading arrest or detention with a vehicle.

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A little before 3 a.m. Monday morning, Shenandoah officers responded to the Valero station in the 28700 block on Interstate 45 South, where a clerk reported two suspicious vehicles behind the store.

Lt. Bryan Carlisle said one of the vehicles, a white van, was traveling northbound on the southbound feeder as officers approached. The van pulled into the parking lot of Homewood Suites. As the officers got closer, the suspects pulled back onto the feeder road and threw a large metal flashlight at the patrol car, but missed it.

“I’m pleased that it was only a flashlight and not gunfire,” Carlisle said.

The driver then turned into the parking lot of the Luby’s restaurant at Lake Front Circle and the southbound feeder, where he abandoned the van and fled on foot. SPD officers Chris Ansley and Justin Wilkerson and Sgt. Mark Denham began chasing him. Just then, another man who was hiding in the van got into the driver’s seat and fled on the feeder road at a high rate of speed.

Carlisle said two units remained in Shenandoah, searching for the second vehicle, while Officer Brockhoeft, followed by Sgt. Denham, pursued the van which entered the Interstate and continued southbound reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour.

“There’s very little traffic at 3 a.m.,” Carlisle said. “It’s a blessing it didn’t happen at 5 in the afternoon.”

Whitaker took the Rankin Road Exit, turned on Ella, and went into a residential area, still driving at dangerous speeds. Carlisle said he was also glad it was 3 a.m. at that point in the chase, so no unsuspecting residents would be hit in their neighborhood where they were used to slow traffic.

The suspect’s luck finally ran out, as he struck a parked vehicle in a driveway on Wood Fall Court in Harris County.

Whitaker was not giving up, but neither was Brockhoeft. As the suspect tried to climb over a fence, Brockhoeft caught him and took him into custody.

A 9mm pistol recovered near the van was believed to have fallen out of Whitaker’s pants as fled.

The second vehicle, a pickup, was found behind the Valero station where a clerk called police. A check revealed both vehicles were stolen from area hotels. They were returned to their owners.

Whitaker admitted to investigator that he and his accomplice were not done stealing “for the night” when police caught up with them, Carlisle said.

“We think they were possibly involved with some of the (burglaries of motor vehicles),” he said. “If the officers hadn’t intervened, they might have broken into several other vehicles.”

Carlisle praised the efforts of his nightshift officers and asked for the public’s help in apprehending the man who escaped. He was described only as a black male, nicknamed “New York” who was dressed in black clothing, with a black head wrap.

Anyone with information about the second man is asked to contact the Shenandoah Police Department at (281) 367-8952. Those who wish to remain anonymous, please contact Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-STOP.

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