Welfare concern triggered pursuit

MONTGOMERY- A Montgomery man involved in a Wednesday afternoon pursuit in which police say he ran several vehicles off the road and intentionally struck a police patrol vehicle, resulting in shots fired by officers. No one was struck by bullets, but police say a civilian was injured when the suspect’s vehicle ran hers off the road.

Sammie Lee Williams, Jr., 22, of Montgomery is in the Montgomery County Jail in Conroe, charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and one count of evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, with previous conviction or causes serious bodily injury. Williams’ bond was set at $75,000 per count of the first charge and $10,000 for evading arrest, for a total of $160,000.

Williams is no stranger to jail or to law enforcement, with a rap sheet as long as the tattoo on his right arm, stretching from near his shoulder to his wrist. He is not only unashamed of his criminal history, his page on the popular social networking site, MySpace.com, indicates he is proud of his misdeeds. He lists his occupation as “hustler,” but the photo gallery is much more revealing. One of the photos (displayed with this article) is Williams talking on a phone through plexiglass during visitation on one of his previous stays at the Montgomery County Jail. The caption begins, “Me in jail!!!”
Capt. Robert Green, MC Jail Administrator noted that the photo appeared to be taken with a cell phone, which is strictly prohibited inside the jail.

Williams’ criminal record began when he was a juvenile, but only details of his adult record are accessible.

Public Data shows he pleaded guilty to evading arrest or detention with a vehicle in the 9th District Court on Oct. 25, 2007 and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and a $276 fine. On Aug. 3, 2006, Williams pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to 270 days in jail and a fine of $386. He was again arrested on Oct. 19, 2008 for theft of property, greater than $1,500 and less than $20,000. On March 19, 2009, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was given the choice of paying a fine or spending a year in jail. It appears the fine was paid since he was already out of jail.

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The pursuit began around 5 p.m., after a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a northbound Ford Mustang on Keenan Cut Off Road and the Mustang fled, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Cpl. Eric Burse. In a Thursday press release, the MCSO stated the deputy tried to stop the Mustang initially to check the welfare of the occupants because something looked suspicious.

“The white Mustang ran several vehicles off the road, turned eastbound on (FM) 2854 and tried to make left turn on McCaleb,” Burse said. “The vehicle got stuck, then intentionally backed into a Pct. 2 Constable.”

The press release stated the Pct. 2 deputy attempted to assist the Sheriff’s Deputy when the pursuit reached FM 2854 and when the Mustang crashed at McCaleb Road, officers tried to make contact with the occupants, which is when the aggravated assault against a public servant occurred.

“As the officers approached the Mustang, the driver began reversing rapidly toward the officers, striking the Deputy Constable’s vehicle, and then reversing toward the MCSO Deputy, nearly striking the officers,” The release states. “Fearing for their safety, the officers fired their weapons in an attempt to disable the vehicle and prevent further danger to the public.”

The northeast corner of the intersection of FM 2854 and McCaleb Road where the Mustang became stuck has a small grassy area with a wooded area behind it. There are no homes on other structures on any of the three sides of the intersection where the incident occurred.

“The suspect was able to maneuver his vehicle away from the officers, and again headed east on FM-2854 for a short distance, where he lost control of the Mustang and left the roadway at FM-2854 and Old Highway 105, wrecking the vehicle and disabling it.”

Burse said the vehicle went through a fence. An examination of the path the vehicle took shows it narrowly missed a gas meter.

When the Mustang was disabled, Williams fled on foot, but then his luck got worse. According to the Sheriff’s Office, one of their off-duty detectives was in the area and witnessed the pursuit. The unidentified detective chased and apprehended Williams.

The Mustang’s two female passengers, believed to be Williams’ girlfriend and mother, were interviewed by MCSO investigators and released. Burse said the mother told officers Williams’ girlfriend was driving at first.

“Being the career criminal that he is, he didn’t want his girlfriend to have a record for whatever reason, he jumps behind the wheel and begins the pursuit,” Burse said, explaining the passenger’s statement.

One of the vehicles the Mustang ran off the road was occupied by a five-year-old girl and her mother, who was transported by ground ambulance to a hospital in The Woodlands with non-life threatening injuries. The Pct. 2 Deputy Constable was not injured, but his patrol vehicle was damaged. Witnesses say an officer who was outside his vehicle at FM 2854 and McCaleb narrowly avoided being struck by leaping out of the car’s path just in time.

A local woman who witnessed the end of the pursuit said it was a sound that first caught her attention.

“I was almost to 2854 and old 105 and I heard the screeching of tires, so I stopped and all of a sudden a Mustang came around the corner and smashed into the fence,” Karen Duncan said. “I jumped out of my car and I heard all these sirens, because I was ready to call 911.”

Duncan also stated that Williams jumped out and ran.

“The two females got out and stood next to the car,” she said. “They were very shaken up – they hit that fence really hard.”

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit is investigating this incident and anyone with information is asked to call Detectives Hahs or Lozano at 936-760-5876

UPDATE- Sept. 2, 2009

Sammie Lee Williams, Jr. was true billed by a Montgomery County Grand Jury last week and will face trial on two counts of aggravated assault of a public servant and evading arrest or detention (with previous conviction).

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