Three people were arrested Thursday night, Jan. 10, after a high-speed, 70-mile pursuit from Cleveland to Livingston, ending around 9 p.m. shortly after Livingston police used spike strips to flatten the tires of the suspects’ 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe.
The driver, Cody Oliver, 30, of Pearland, was arrested on felony warrants for Polk County. The female passenger, Tana Thorndyke, 24, of Livingston, and Robert Marvin Tyler, 26, of Cleveland, were arrested by Cleveland police and transported to the jail in Cleveland.
Charges against the three are unknown at this hour as Cleveland Police Chief Darrel Broussard, and Officers D. Baker and J. Rosas continue the investigation.
The pursuit, which reached speeds of 85 miles per hour in some areas, began at 8:14 p.m. when Officers Baker and Rosas were patrolling the downtown area of Cleveland near Travis and Hanson streets. They ran the license plate of a suspect’s vehicle and information that was returned was found to belong to a different vehicle, according to a statement from Chief Broussard.
“As the officers got closer on Houston Street (SH 321) traveling east, they activated their overhead lights and siren in an attempt to pull the SUV over. The SUV failed to pull over or yield for the officers and started to accelerate faster out SH 321. The officers continued to pursue the SUV, reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour,” Broussard said. “The occupants were seen throwing items from the SUV as it traveled.”
When the vehicle reached CR 2243, it turned northward toward FM 787 at a speed of around 70 miles per hour, according to the chief.
At FM 787, the vehicle reportedly turned east and continued on toward Dolen and Romayor, making a turn on FM 2610 toward Ace, crossing into Polk County. At the intersection of FM 2610 and SH 146, the vehicle turned northward and headed toward Livingston, where Livingston police were waiting with spike strips.
According to the chief, the spike strips were effective, flattening three of the vehicle’s tires, but the vehicle continued on at a slower speed with 10 police units in pursuit.
“As the SUV continued to drive on the flats tires, the rubber from the tires begin to heat up and separate from the rims. There were flames sparking from under the fenders of the SUV, but the SUV’s driver continued to drive reckless through heavy traffic and intersections as he entered into Livingston,” Broussard said. “The SUV drove back down old Highway 59 south where he turned right, getting onto U.S. 59 headed northbound.”
The vehicle reportedly exited at SH 190 and headed westward toward Onalaska.
Officers were still pursuing the slow-moving SUV at about 30 m.p.h westbound on SH 190 west when it suddenly came to a stop in the middle of the highway, about a quarter-mile west of U.S. 59.
“There were three occupants who were all detained and taken into police custody. When the SUV stopped, officers located two males and one female inside, along with several credit cards and a rifle,” Broussard said. “Officers are still investigating where the SUV may have come from due to the fake registration, and tampering of the VIN numbers. All three occupants are being held pending further investigation into why they were evading officers.”
Cleveland PD was assisted in the pursuit and arrest by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Livingston Police Department and Livingston Police Chief Clifton, who like Broussard, was on scene and assisted.
“The vehicular police pursuit traveled around 70 miles and we are pleased it ended safely,” Broussard said. “This case is pending further investigation and we will update at a later time.”