San Marcos police arrested a 25-year old San Marcos man for crashing his car into the lobby of Bank of America in San Marcos and fleeing from police after he left the scene.
Elias Mercado was jailed at the Hays County Law Enforcement Center Friday morning, charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest.
According to Police Cmdr. Penny Dunn, the suspect crashed a Pontiac Grand Prix into the lobby of the Bank of America at 308 E. Hopkins around 3:55 a.m. Friday.
He drove through two sets of glass double doors into lobby. He crashed into the customer waiting area, hitting a couch and coffee table. He then circled through the lobby area, striking a wall, a cubicle, the teller counter, restroom doors and plants. He backed up twice and struck several pieces of furniture before exiting through the double doors, said Sgt. Mike Wellman.
The suspect was gone by the time San Marcos police arrived, but bank security personnel provided a vehicle description as well as a license plate found in the lobby.
Officer Joyce Bender and Sgt. Brandon Winkenwerder followed a trail of glass on Hopkins and searched the area of Interstate 35 and State Highway 80. They spotted the suspect vehicle with body damage, including a rear license plate matching the plate found in the bank.
Officer Bender attempted to stop the vehicle by activating her patrol unit emergency lights and siren but the suspect fled, driving his vehicle south on the west access road near SH 80.
Officer Bender used the Pursuit Immobilization Technique, PIT maneuver, and successfully stopped the suspect. In a PIT maneuver, the pursuing police car steers into the back bumper of the fleeing vehicle, forcing the car to spin and stop.
Bender and Winkenwerder took the suspect into custody without further incident. Mercado has been charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest/detention, both state jail felonies. Justice of the Peace Joanne Prado set bond at $10,000 for the burglary and $5,000 for evading arrest.
The Bank of America lobby sustained substantial damage, Dunn said. The investigation is continuing.