Officer Nearly Struck During Pursuit
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On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, Atoka County Sheriff Deputy Kody Simpson, was advised by dispatch that an individual had called in stating he observed a man and a woman having a verbal altercation in the parking lot of the Choctaw Travel Plaza in Durant.
The man advised dispatch that the man pushed the woman in the car, a white Dodge Charger, and began to drive north on Highway 69. He had followed the car until it pulled off the roadway near a barn at the corner of Highway 69 and Small Creek Lane.
Deputy Simpson arrived on scene to conduct a welfare check. The 2012 white Dodge Charger was stationary in the parking lot of the former Bigfoot’s BBQ.
The Deputy activated his emergency lights, exited the patrol vehicle, and approached the driver’s door. An unconscious male was located in the driver seat.
According to the report, the female passenger was not located in the vehicle.
Knocking on the window, Deputy Simpson shined his flashlight to illuminate his badge, and informed the suspect that he was with the Sheriffs Office.
Later known as Hector Hernandez, 20, of Dallas, Texas, he was asked to exit the vehicle. Hernandez placed the vehicle in drive, ignoring the Deputy.
Deputy Simpson opened the door and the suspect pushed the gas pedal, spinning the tires, and speeding away causing the Deputy to fall.
Returning to the patrol vehicle, Deputy Simpson activated both lights and sirens to pursue the Charger.
Hernandez took to the shoulder in the one lane construction zone to pass multiple cars.
Advising Dispatch that he was in pursuit, the Deputy radioed an update that the suspect was traveling north on Highway 69.
During the pursuit, Hernandez attempted to pass on the shoulder again, but collided with a guard rail causing severe damage to his vehicle.
The suspect continued north on Highway 69. Once clear of the construction, Deputy Simpson was able to catch up with him. Sparks were coming from under the Dodge Charger due to the damage.
Choctaw Tribal Police Officer Anthony Garvin advised he was setting up a road block with spike strips near northbound Highway 69 and Tent Lane. Hernandez was not stopped as he continued past Officer Garvin.
A short distance later Officer Garvin and Tushka Police Officer Keith Capps were able to join the pursuit. The Officers helped Deputy Simpson box Hernandez in, and stop the pursuit just north of Northeast Second Street in Tushka.
Officer Capps was in front of the vehicle when Hernandez came to a stop. The Officer exited his patrol car and began to order the suspect to show his hands.
Hernandez attempted to take off again, spinning his tires, in the direction of Officer Capps, coming within inches of hitting the officer.
Deputy Rick Eldridge was able to take control of Hernandez before the car struck Officer Capps. He was removed from the car through the driver’s window, and placed in handcuffs.
A City of Atoka Officer transported the suspect to the Atoka County Jail.
The Deputy assisted Officer Capps with the inventory of the vehicle, and secured a wallet to be entered as Hernandez’s personal property at the jail.
While at the jail, the wallet was searched before being placed into his property.
A folded piece of paper containing a brown powdery substance, a folded one dollar bill with a white powdery substance inside, and a clear plastic baggy containing a black tar-like substance were all found in the wallet.
Deputy Simpson field tested the substances. The brown powdery substance tested positive for heroin, and the white powdery substance tested positive for cocaine. The black tar-like substance was unable to be tested.
During the interview, Hernandez stated he ran because where he is from, Dallas, the cops will shoot people for no reason and that he was scared.
He was questioned about the heroin and cocaine found in the wallet. Hernandez said the wallet did not belong to him.
Deputy Simpson informed him that the wallet was found in his car and that he was in possession of the wallet, the evidence was turned over to Officer Capps.
Hernandez is charged with endangering others while eluding police officer (felony), assault with deadly weapon (felony), running a roadblock (felony), and two counts of possession of controlled dangerous substance (misdemeanor).