Suspect in Alabama-Coushatta casino robbery arrested in Houston area after high-speed chase
POLK COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Houston-area law enforcement officers captured a man who allegedly robbed a casino on the Alabama-Coushatta reservation Friday morning and then led authorities on a high-speed chase through multiple counties.
According to a post on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Facebook page, the reservation’s police department received a 911 call about an “active incident” at the Naskila casino at about 5:58 a.m. Friday. A web story on the KTRK website said the suspect allegedly committed a “strong-arm” robbery and fled the scene with casino property.
ACTPD officers arrived at the casino, which is located near Livingston, in less than a minute. When they entered the gaming facility’s front parking, an individual in a white passenger car sped away, and the reservation police officers gave chase.
“In the course of this motor vehicle pursuit, the lone suspect threw out of his vehicle evidence related to this active incident which he alone was directly responsible for,” the Facebook post stated.
The suspect left the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation and continued toward Livingston, the Facebook post stated. ACTPD police officers coordinated with multiple law enforcement agencies as the pursuit went through Polk, San Jacinto, Liberty, Montgomery, and Harris counties.
“At some point, the suspect vehicle became completely inoperable,” the Facebook post stated. “It was at this time that the suspect stopped in the middle of U.S. Highway 59 near the Kingwood exit.”
At that point, the suspect refused to obey law enforcement officers’ commands to exit his vehicle, the Facebook post stated. A brief standoff ensued, and all the southbound lanes of Highway 59 were blocked near the Kingwood exit, the KTRK story stated.
“Just after 7 a.m., the suspect exited the vehicle, walking backward with his hands in the air,” the KTRK story stated.
The suspect, who was later identified as Marquel Pierre Fitzgerald, 34, of Houston, was arrested without further incident.
Fitzgerald is currently being held in the Polk County Jail. His charges include evading arrest with a vehicle, tampering with or fabricating evidence with the intent to impair an investigation, and accident involving damage less than or equal to $200. No bond amounts have been set for his charges yet.
“Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of this incident,” the Facebook post stated. “It should also be noted, in the entire history of Naskila, no incident such as this has ever occurred. In fact, our Reservation is noted as one of the safest communities in Texas.”
In the Facebook post, ACTPD Chief Rex Evans thanked all the law enforcement agencies for their “tenacious” assistance during the pursuit and the subsequent arrest of Fitzgerald.
“Without your assistance, this incident could have had the potential to be more serious or dangerous for everyone involved,” Evans said in the post.
To read the full KTKR story, click this link.
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