Tommy Matchell

A Houston man is charged with two felonies following an incident June 16 in which he allegedly took a Texas County Sheriff’s Department deputy on a high-speed jaunt.

Tommy D. Matchell, 54, of 9411 Highway E in Houston, is charged with Class E felonies of leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest by fleeing. He was charged Oct. 14.

A deputy reported a Houston Police Department officer was heard on the radio about 10 p.m. indicating that a black Ford truck didn’t yield to emergency lights and sped away on U.S. 63.

The deputy reported that while he was on patrol on Highway 137 north of Raymondville, a truck matching the description and registration of the suspect’s vehicle was observed turning from Dixon Road onto Highway 137. The truck reportedly accelerated and reached 80 miles per hour.

A pursuit ensued, with flying dust from rural roadways hindering the officer’s ability to keep the truck in sight. The deputy reportedly saw a damaged fence at a property on Higgins Road where the truck had crashed through it, but upon investigating the vehicle, nobody was found.

Contact was made with the man who is the truck’s registered owner, and he told the deputy Matchell had asked to borrow the vehicle a few days earlier, and then contacted him at about 7:30 a.m. June 17 to ask if someone had come to pick it up. But Matchell had called law enforcement at 7 a.m. to report the truck stolen.

The deputy reported that Matchell said he had been in possession of the truck for about a week while working on it for the owner, and that he had gone to bed at about 8:30 p.m. June 16. But Casey’s General Store surveillance video reportedly showed him in the store moments before fleeing from police at about 10 p.m.

The deputy noted that Matchell had injuries consistent with running through vegetation and/or being in a crash.

Matchell’s driving status was revoked at the time of the incident. He was charged on Oct. 14 and is in the Texas County Jail on $150,000 bond.

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