by SEAN BATURA
A man suspected of being high on cocaine rammed a police car Sunday evening and led officers on a short vehicle chase.
It all began after a concerned individual reported an erratic driver on Interstate 35. As another driver tailed Timmy Charles McBride from Austin to San Marcos, she told police he had almost struck vehicles on Interstate 35.
San Marcos police officers, who were dispatched at 8:46 p.m., found McBride inside a parked Ford F-150 near Bikini’s Bar Grill at 1437 North Interstate 35. Police say they observed McBride consuming a white powdery substance as they tried to make contact with him. That’s when things got “hairy,” said SMPD Sgt. Fred Wisener.
“He jumped a curb from Bikini’s and crossed into the Summit Inn parking lot adjacent to it,” Wisener said.
After he cut through the hotel’s parking lot, turned right onto Aquarena, and headed east, McBride reportedly veered out of the road to intentionally strike a police car parked in the driveway of Auto Oasis Car Wash a few yards away. Wisener said the police cruiser was not in the road or moving to block McBride’s passage.
“Fortunately, (McBride’s vehicle) just hit the bumper and didn’t render (the cruiser) inoperable, and the officer was able to follow behind and pursue it,” Wisener said. “The guy didn’t stop and fled east on Aquarena underneath the interstate and continued towards River Road, and almost struck other vehicles along the way.”
McBride reportedly ran a stop sign at the intersection where Aquarena dead-ends into River Road. Rather than make a turn, he crashed into a tree on the far side of the intersection.
“He didn’t comply with orders (to exit the truck), so he was extracted from the vehicle,” Wisener said.
Police found cocaine and drug paraphernalia in McBride’s truck, and they discovered cocaine on his person, Wisener said. According to an affidavit used to secure an arrest warrant, “numerous open and unopened beer bottles” were in McBride’s truck.
“I could detect the moderate odor of alcohol emitting from Timmy’s breath and he advised that he had consumed two beers at Bikini’s,” said Officer Hartman in the arrest affidavit. “Based on the totality of the circumstances, Timmy was intoxicated, had lost the normal use of his mental and physical faculties, and was operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”
Wisener said McBride sustained minor injuries, was taken to Central Texas Medical Center, treated and released. He is charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, possession of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance, evading arrest/detention with a vehicle, driving while intoxicated with an open alcoholic beverage container, and causing an accident involving more than $200-worth of damage to a vehicle (his vehicle).
McBride could be fined $34,000 and receive a lifetime prison sentence, according to the Texas Penal Code.
The aggravated assault charge is a first degree felony carrying a penalty of imprisonment for life or no more than 99 years or less than 5 years in a state prison or private jail facility. The crime may also be punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
The DWI charge is a Class B misdemeanor carrying a penalty of confinement for at least six days and no more than 180 days in a county jail. The crime is also punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000.
The possession charge is a third degree felony carrying a penalty of imprisonment for at least two years and no more than 10 years in a state prison, state jail, or a private correctional facility. The crime may also be punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
The evading arrest charge is a state jail felony carrying a punishment of at least 180 days and no more than two years. Additionally, the crime is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
The accident charge is a Class B misdemeanor carrying a punishment of a fine and/or imprisonment. The fine would not exceed $2,000 and confinement would be no more than 180 days in a county jail.