On Tuesday around 5:30 p.m. in Harris County, Texas, the chase was on after authorities spotted a stolen truck on a toll road.
The driver of the truck refused to pull over, and deputies were in hot pursuit. Starting on Beltway 8, the driver then sped through neighborhoods and industrial areas.
“Constables Deputies are pursuing an evading stolen vehicle in the 4900 block of the N Sam Houston Parkway West and Hollister,” the Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Facebook page shared.
“The vehicle refuses to stop and is now traveling east bound on Fallbrook Drive. Please avoid the area.”
The suspect drove behind an industrial complex into an empty field, then fled on foot, jumping a security fence and leaving authorities in the dust.
He had no idea, though, that someone with a very relevant set of qualifications was nearby, on his way home from work.
That man, identified only as Devin, 26, had worked as a security guard for two years and had been a track athlete at Westfield High School back in the day.
Devin spotted the suspect fleeing on foot, and tried to block his path with his own vehicle before getting out and chasing him.
“I saw him, the suspect running all the way down he was already like 50 yards from the officers,” Devin told KTRK-TV. “So, I turned around, and sped up, and blocked him in and I got out the car and started running.”
Devin lost both shoes in the process, but an aerial video shows him quickly closing in on the runner, who had also lost his shoes.
“I just ran behind him and tackled him down,” Devin said.
The suspect appeared to realize he was caught and stopped struggling once Devin approached him and restrained him.
“What I was thinking about in the moment was make sure I had all his hands real tight because I didn’t know if he had something in his pockets,” Devin said. “He say, ‘OK, OK.’ I say, ‘Stay down don’t move.’ And he say, ‘OK, I’m going to stay down.’”
Devin didn’t know anything about the man’s history but had some words of encouragement for him.
“I wish him the best,” he said. “Like you learn from your first mistake. Like whenever you get out, try to be on your best behavior and not get in no more trouble.”
Apparently, the driver had already been in trouble with the law before.
“After a brief foot pursuit, the driver was apprehended and identified as Roberto Rodriguez-Gras,” another Facebook post by Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 stated. “Further information revealed that he was out on bond for Assault.”
A passenger in the truck was also arrested.
“Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Harris County Jail,” constable Mark Herman said. “Roberto Rodriguez-Gras was charged with Evading in a Motor vehicle and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. His total bond was set at $7,500.00 out of the 176th District Court.”
Devin said that his involvement was instinctual: He saw an opportunity to help, and he helped.
“I wasn’t even thinking,” he said. “I was — I just got out and, like, a hero moment.”