The theft of an 18-wheeler beer truck resulted in a pursuit early last Tuesday morning with sheriff’s deputies. Sheriff David Soward stated his office received a call at 6:36 a.m. from a truck driver reporting his truck had been stolen from Z’s Super Stop at TX 97 at IH 37. While Deputy Sheriff Chris Gomez was enroute to the location, Deputy Sheriffs Daniel Kaufman and Shane Billings responded to a report of an 18-wheeler driving very recklessly leaving Pleasanton on TX 97 headed west. The two deputies intercepted the truck and attempted to stop it but the driver refused to stop. The deputies pursued the truck at a greatly reduced speed through Jourdanton due to the fog and in an effort to minimize danger to other motorists. The truck stopped at the Highway 16 intersection in traffic where Deputy Kaufman attempted to get the driver out of the cab. The driver took off with Deputy Kaufman standing on the door step forcing the deputy to jump to his safety. Deputy Kaufman reported that he wanted to get the truck stopped due to all the traffic and that school busses were already on their routes. The deputies chased the truck out Highway 97 west where it crossed the center line into oncoming traffic. “The driver was showing a total disregard for the safety of others and the deputies knew it needed to be stopped,” stated Sheriff Soward. The truck went off the edge of the roadway and jack-knifed and came to a stop. The deputies rushed the truck to find the driver locked in the cab and refusing to open the door. Fearing he would get the truck on the road again, Deputy Kaufman broke the driver’s window and the deputies were able to remove the driver and take him into custody. Deputy Kaufman received minor injuries during the arrest and he was treated and released. The suspect was taken to Methodist Hospital South for medical clearance before being booked into the Atascosa County Jail. The suspect was identified by Sheriff Soward as Gabriel Hilario Reyes, age 37 of the 500 block of Barrett Street in San Antonio. Reyes was charged with Theft over $30,000, Evading Arrest with a Vehicle and Assault on a Public Servant. Bond on Reyes was set at $60,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael Pascarella.
Sheriff Soward praised the work of his deputies in attempting to protect the public and getting the stolen truck off the highway as quickly as they could. “No one was hurt and we are very thankful for that,” added the Sheriff. Jourdanton PD Officer Jonathan Gonzales assisted in the arrest.
Reyes remains in the Atascosa County Jail in lieu of bond.