Too fast, too dangerous? Plum Creek concerned about high speed chase

By Moses Leos III

A man wanted on felony warrants led one Kyle Police Department unit on a high speed pursuit through the Plum Creek Subdivision on Sunday.

Roughly 24 hours later, Austin Police arrested Brian Andrews (12-12-83) after a four-hour standoff in Northwest Austin. He is currently being held at the Travis County Correctional Complex on $73,000 bond. 

The pursuit began around 7:30 p.m. on September 14. According to Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett, an officer spotted Andrews travelling north on FM 2770. 

According to Barnett, Andrews was believed to be armed and dangerous. Andrews had three felony, two misdemeanor and a parole violation warrant out for his arrest.

“Several law enforcement agencies in Central Texas were looking for this individual that we [believed]to be a danger to the community and police officers,” Barnett said. 

Once the unit approached, Andrews increased his speed, eventually turning right onto Fairway Drive. It was later found that Andrews was driving a stolen vehicle. 

The police officer began to chase after the vehicle down Fairway until they reached a dead end at a privately owned medical facility.  

Andrews then made a u-turn, backtracking down Fairway. He turned left onto Hartson Road. Kyle Police Captain Pedro Hernandez, who reviewed the police in-car camera footage, estimated Andrews reached speeds of 60 miles per hour during the chase. 

From there, Andrews led the unit through the narrow streets of Plum Creek. The chase sped through Witte, Negley and then Fergus roads before exiting the subdivision. 

Plum Creek resident Greg Estes, who lives on Negley, witnessed the high-speed pursuit go by. 

“We were sitting there and we saw this car speed by, and we saw this cop car go by,” he said. Estes went on to say a few police units drove “without sirens.” 

Barnett said the chase continued back on to FM 2770. It eventually ended in Buda, where Andrews stopped his vehicle on Garison Road and fled on foot.  

The department lost sight of the individual, forcing them to abandon the search. Barnett said the department was unable to gain aerial support with forward looking infrared (FLIR). 

On Monday, Andrews barricaded himself in a home in Austin, according Barnett. It led to a four-hour standoff in a Northwest Austin home, with APD calling in their SWAT team. 

Andrews eventually surrendered himself to officers. 

However, the department’s pursuit left Plum Creek residents questioning the department’s pursuit protocol in neighborhoods.  

“We’ve never seen that with a police officer going that fast (through a neighborhood),” Estes said.

Barnett said officers are given the authority to engage and terminate a pursuit. Supervisors are given the additional authority to terminate a pursuit if the chase is deemed too dangerous. 

Officers must take several factors into account prior to chasing after an individual. Weather conditions, time of day, traffic volume and the volume of pedestrians, especially children, play a role. 

Maintaining the safety and well being of the community is one of the largest determining factors. Barnett said that aspect weighed heavily into Sunday’s incident.  

“In this case, the person that was being pursued was a clear danger to the community and made threats to harm others, including police officers,” Barnett said. 

Estes said he understood the need for the department to pursue the individual on Sunday. He went on to say the department should base pursuits on the severity of crimes. 

Barnett said that officers assess all situations prior to engaging an individual.   

“Know that officers are trained to evaluate the driving conditions, their capabilities of their vehicles, (and) as well as the dangers to the community at large,” Barnett said. “They are trained to evaluate that.”

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