The number of pursuits, bailouts, and crashes continue to mount in Medina County, and especially our small communities that are in close proximity to major thoroughfares.
According to authorities, eleven people bailed out on Bright St. right beside the Community Center in downtown Devine this past Friday, September 30th.
This bailout happened around 4:45 pm shortly before the council meeting nextdoor. DPS, county deputies, and Devine PD all assisted at the scene.
This photo was taken about an hour later as officers, deputies and troopers held several people in handcuffs, seen sitting and laying on the sidewalk.
It is believed that the DPS pursuit originated from Frio County, and a black Sedan was seen being towed away from the scene.
When they got notified of the pursuit, local officers were able to set up at four corners in Devine to block off the intersection for the safety of other drivers, so the suspects turned off on College instead before bailing out on Bright St.
This was one of many pursuits that came through our area this week. Devine PD assisted with 3 this past week.
Lytle PD reported assisting with 4 pursuits (Thursday, Friday and two on Saturday), three of which were suspected human smuggling operations.
The fourth pursuit, on Saturday, October 1 resulted in a crash on Main Street at the intersection in front of Lytle City Hall. The DPS-initiated pursuit happened around 9 AM and thankfully there were no serious injuries reported when the suspect’s vehicle collided with two other vehicles at that intersection.
High speed pursuits through our cities are becoming all too common, and Lytle Police Chief Richie Priest warns drivers to beware of your surroundings.
“I have never seen so many pursuits and incidents involving human smuggling in my 30+ year career as a peace officer,” Chief Priest said.
“I would suggest being extra careful at intersections, even if you have a green light,” Priest adds. “If you have your radio blaring, not paying attention or you are jabber jawing on the phone you may not hear the sirens or see the lights. Remember – the emergency vehicles will be behind the suspect. So by the time you see them it may be too late. That’s why you need to be very observant when you are driving.”
Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown and his team are also dealing with smuggling operations day in and day out.
When asked for a comment, Sheriff Brown points to the current US Administration and stated that he is beyond frustrated at “the invasion of Illegal Aliens, (zero from Mexico), the deaths, the destruction of private property, and the open invitation to come.”
There have been several crashes in the past few months, including at least two human smuggling pursuits with fatalities and several hospitalizations that we know of (one in Hondo this September and 1 near Devine). And many more close calls as high speed pursuits come off the highways and detour through busy downtown streets.