Manhunt fails to find man who tussled with trooper

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Feb. 26, 2008 - An unsuccessful manhunt was launched Monday night after a man fled from a state trooper during a routine traffic stop in Brinker.

The hunt began at 8:11 p.m. when Hopkins County Sheriff's Sgt. Victor Cosme reported seeing a subject running with a flashlight from a Department of Public Safety unit on FM 69 in Brinker.

The trooper was reported to have been involved in a struggle with a Hispanic man who attempted to take an object, thought to be the flashlight or the trooper's gun, away from the trooper. DPS officials were unavailable Tuesday morning to comment on the chase and had yet to complete a report.

The trooper gave chase for a distance, but eventually lost sight of the suspect.

Sheriff's deputies and police responded at the location, along with at least one other trooper. Hopkins County firefighters arrived with a thermal imager. Sulphur Spring Police Sgt. Jason Ricketson took canine Barry to the area and began attempting to track the suspect.

The suspect was last seen wearing a striped shirt and blue jeans and tattoos on his hands.

Officials searched with caution, unsure whether the suspect had a firearm. A .45-caliber weapon and clips were found in the car later in the evening, along with ammunition for another pistol.

Officers contacted nearby residents to make them aware of the manhunt and watch for the suspect. At 8:30 p.m., a woman reported seeing someone run behind her house and toward a pasture while her husband was at the front door talking to the officer. Several outbuildings on the property were searched, as were other buildings and properties in the area.

After 9 p.m. one officer chased a man fitting the suspect's description but lost sight of the subject.

A DPS helicopter in Garland was launched and arrived at the location at about 10:15 p.m. The helicopter and a thermal imager were used to try to locate the suspect, flying over pastures and even down a nearby creek.

Despite all efforts to search the area, officers were unable to locate the man.

The commanding officer for the Sulphur Springs Department of Public Safety office was unavailable Tuesday morning for comment, and DPS officials said any release of information regarding the incident must come from or be approved by the DPS sergeant.

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