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Stolen Car Leads to High-speed Chase

Leader Photo by Rodney Williams  Emergency workers remove suspect Stephen Crowell from the wreckage of a stolen car crashed in a creek bed.Buy Photo
Leader Photo by Rodney Williams Emergency workers remove suspect Stephen Crowell from the wreckage of a stolen car crashed in a creek bed.

A police pursuit through the streets of Van Alstyne ended badly for one car thief.

At approximately 1 p.m. on April 3, a 2005 Honda Accord driven by Mary Pitts of Van Alstyne was parked in a driveway in the 500 block of Nunalee Ave. Pitts had stopped to run grocery items into a house when Stephen Crowell, age 22 of Van Alstyne, entered the parked and running vehicle and took off.

The family alerted the Van Alstyne Police Department, and Crowell and the car were spotted by VAPD Officer Brandon Blair on Blassingame Ave. Blair approached the vehicle with his gun drawn and Crowell sped away, igniting a chase through neighborhood streets.

Eventually, Crowell drove the car onto westbound Van Alstyne Parkway before taking a left onto Cartwright. At this point, with police in pursuit, Crowell attempted to negotiate a corner and lost control of the vehicle, narrowly missing another car coming from the opposite direction. The car rotated and drove off the road at a high rate of speed, eventually coming to a stop on its side at the bottom of a creek.

With Crowell pinned by the steering wheel and dash the Van Alstyne Fire Department and police from Van Alstyne and Howe extricated the suspect from the vehicle.

Crowell was put on a board and handcuffed with police recovering, among other items, a near-empty 40-ounce bottle of beer from the vehicle. He was transported to Wilson N. Jones Medical Center where he was kept for several days before being released.

According to Van Alstyne Police Chief Tim Barnes, arrest warrants are to be issued on two felony counts — unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest. Another possible charge could be driving while intoxicated as VAPD is waiting on toxicology results to be returned. In addition, Crowell is suspected of a motor vehicle burglary earlier that day in the 100 block of Van Alstyne Parkway and could be charged on that, as well.

Two days later, police arrested 49-year-old John Williams of Cartwright, Okla. on a charge of driving while intoxicated. On April 5, a reckless driver call was answered by Blair at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon. Williams was spotted swerving into oncoming traffic (narrowly missing traffic) on westbound Van Alstyne Parkway numerous times and was issued a field sobriety test prior to being arrested.