Charges filed following Tuesday's wild chase
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- There are new developments in a wild police chase we showed you live on Eyewitness News and abc13.com. The two women involved have now been charged.We brought you the dramatic pictures of the chase along the South Beltway yesterday during Eyewitness News at 4pm and here on abc13.com. This morning, the driver, Mechelle Murillo, was charged with felony evading arrest. The passenger, Angela McKnight, is charged with tampering with evidence. Investigators believe she threw a gun from the car during the chase.
The 20-minute, 16-mile pursuit came to end when another driver, Hugo Vargas, 19, used his pickup truck to box in the vehicle. Vargas says police were very grateful.
"He said, 'Are you scared?' I was like 'Yes I'm scared. Too many guns around me.' He said, 'Thanks for everything. We were following them for 15 miles back,' and I was like oh OK," Vargas said.
Vargas says he's not sure if he'd do it again.
Authorities started pursuing the suspects at about 3:30pm yesterday the area of W. Bellfort and Gessner following a shooting during a domestic dispute at an apartment complex on Airport Road. Police say Murillo was in a black sedan leading police onto eastbound lanes of Beltway at speeds between 85 and 95mph. The suspects' vehicle then did a U-turn and went westbound for several miles.
Murillo stayed on the feeder road before doing another U-turn, going eastbound along the Beltway 8 feeder. A set of spikes was thrown out for a third time, and the suspects' vehicle hit them, slow downing the car down.
But it was just before 4pm that Vargas' red pickup truck blocked the car and helped bring the chase to an end on the eastbound lanes of the Beltway near Telephone Road.
"I was kinda of scared because he probably would shoot 'cause he had dark-tinted windows, I couldn't see who was there," said Vargas.
Officers immediately surrounded the black sedan with guns drawn. They say McKnight exited the car and ordered to the ground before she was cuffed. Murillo was then pulled out of the car as well and handcuffed.
Murillo is claiming she didn't know police were chasing her.
"Initially, when they first got behind me, it was around me and he circled around. I didn't know they was coming for me, so I turned down the street -- I U-turned down going toward the Beltway," she told Eyewitness News. "Then all of the sudden, I see a bunch of police officers behind me ... and I'm like what the hell?"
Both women were taken into custody without further incident as officers searched the vehicle. Brown paper bags were placed on their hands to preserve any possible evidence of gunpowder residue.
"Right now, we're looking for a weapon that may or may have not been thrown from the vehicle. We're actually waiting for the crime scene investigators to come out here to do the trace metal on the hands. We're also going to take the vehicle down to have it check out," one officer at the scene said.
The weapon police believe was tossed out during the chase was discovered on Wednesday.
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