LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A day after he and a woman allegedly stole a car in Dallas and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase from Montgomery County to Houston County, the suspect assaulted a deputy at Lufkin's Memorial Hospital, according to the Lufkin Police Department.
Houston County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy G.P. Shearer said Joey Salinas, 36, asked to go to the restroom and then attacked a HCSO deputy. Salinas allegedly struck the deputy several times and tried to take his weapon. Hospital staff members helped restrain Salinas, Shearer said.
"The fight went out into the hallway, and there was a scuffle in the hallway, and the nursing staff saw what was going on," Shearer said. "They came to assist the deputy and got him restrained again."
Shearer said he is thankful that the hospital staff stepped up to help his deputy.
""I don't think they get training to fight combative people," Shearer said. "They are there to treat people. It is just human nature to help."
Sgt. David Casper, a spokesman for the Lufkin Police Department, said that LPD officers were dispatched out to the hospital Tuesday to help get Salinas under control after he assaulted the deputy. Casper said Salinas is now restrained to his hospital bed.
The deputy received minor injuries in the scuffle and was treated in the hospital's emergency room, Casper said.
In a previous East Texas News story, Shearer said that Salinas and Yeiny Gonzalez, 22, stole a black Mercedes 4-door sedan in Dallas and drove it to Conroe, where they were allegedly involved in a police, following an armed robbery in the Conroe area.
Salinas will be facing felony charges of aggravated robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle as soon as he is released from the hospital, along with a misdemeanor evading arrest charge. Additional charges will be pending from the Dallas and Conroe police departments as well.
"I don't think I can even begin to count how many charges he has," Shearer said. "He does have numerous felonies."
Gonzalez was also charged with aggravated robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The chase went through Montgomery and Walker counties and law enforcement officers took over in Houston County.
"Deputies pursued the vehicle into Madison County where Madison County deputies took over the pursuit," Shearer said. "The Mercedes was traveling at dangerously high rates of speed and deputies lost sight of the vehicle around the Midway area in Madison County."
After Salinas and Gonzalez wrecked the stolen Mercedes, they allegedly went looking for another car to steal. The chief deputy said that, at one point, Salinas was running down FM 1280 when he made it look like he had a gun and told residents of the Austonio area to give him their car. He ran away when one of the people went into his or her home and returned with a gun and pointed it at him, Shearer said.
Shearer said the two suspects continued running, and Salinas was able to steal a 1997 Chevy Lumina from R.E. Jackson, a resident in the area. Salinas allegedly left Gonzalez stranded and took off in the car.
Salinas then allegedly wrecked the Chevy on SH 21 and authorities were able to take him into custody. Shearer said Salinas was taken by helicopter to a Lufkin hospital, not because of his injuries, but because he was unresponsive and authorities believe he ingested some kind of evidence.
More charges could be pending against both Salinas and Gonzalez.