Abilene, TX – A Taylor County deputy has been fired from his job for continuing to drive down a Texas highway with an inmate riding on the roof of his patrol vehicle (video below).
The incident began when Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Wombles was transporting 31-year-old-inmate Martin Estrada from Wichita Falls to the Taylor County Jail, Big Country Homepage reported.
Before leaving the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Wombles placed Estrada in handcuffs and leg irons with the assistance of three other staff members, according to a press release from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Wombles was driving down Highway 277 in Archer County when Estrada "was able to free one wrist from his handcuffs and use it to shatter the rear passenger-side window of the patrol car," the press release said.
At that point, Estrada climbed out the window of the patrol car and onto the roof, as the deputy continued to drive down the highway, Big Country Homepage reported.
The inmate threatened to commit suicide if Deputy Wombles didn’t stop the police car. However, Deputy Wombles refused and continued driving until backup arrived from Wichita Falls, according to the press release from the sheriff’s department.
Witnesses said that Estrada rode down the highway on top of the police car for about five minutes, KTXS reported.
The video showed that when Wichita County sheriff’s deputies joined Deputy Wombles on the highway, he then pulled over with Estrada on the roof.
As soon the deputy slowed onto the shoulder of the road, Estrada appeared to be getting ready to jump and make a run for it.
Sure enough, the inmate jumped off, rolled, and bounced up in an effort to make a getaway the second the patrol car slowed down enough for him to escape safely, the video showed.
But a police SUV pulled up just in front of the patrol vehicle, and another pulled up closer to the inmate, alongside the vehicle he’d jumped from, and Estrada looked to be reconsidering his decision to flee.
In the video, Estrada turned and appeared to calmly wait for the deputies to come replace his handcuffs. But the minute a deputy actually approached him, the inmate began resisting, the video showed.
Two more deputies jumped into the fray, and Estrada was tased and re-handcuffed, and taken back into custody, the video showed.
The Taylor County Sheriff's Office told KTXS in a statement that Deputy Wombles had been terminated "for violating Taylor County Sheriff's Office policies concerning the safety and security of the inmate."
Wichita Falls deputies helped Deputy Wombles get Estrada safely to the Taylor County Jail after the near escape, and the inmate was held on bonds totaling nearly $1 million dollars for various warrants which included multiple charges for evading arrest, as well as robbery and drug offenses.
You can see video of the incident below: