ITALY — An unusual early morning report of a possible aggravated kidnapping kept several local law enforcement departments busy Tuesday morning after a 9-1-1 call from a store clerk at approximately 7:30 a.m.
“The Exxon store clerk told dispatchers that a female made an outcry indicating that a man was holding her at gunpoint against her will," Italy Police Chief Cameron Beckham stated in a release. “Dispatchers then put out a vehicle description of a Chevrolet Equinox with dark tinted windows leaving the location and heading southbound on Interstate Highway 35E from the 386-mile marker.
"Italy Police Department Sgt. Jason Cherry and Chief of Police Carlos Phoenix of Milford Police Department located the vehicle traveling southbound on I-35E near the 382 and 381-mile markers. Both agencies attempted to stop the vehicle, and a pursuit was then initiated traveling across two counties along I-35E Southbound.”
Beckham said Texas Department of Public Safety troopers deployed spikes to stop the vehicle. The vehicle subsequently wrecked out in the town of Lacy-Lakeview, at the intersection of I-35E Frontage Road at Crest Drive.
A female was taken into custody and there were no other subjects located in the vehicle, Beckham noted.
“After further investigation of this incident, it was determined by the law enforcement agencies on scene, that the female was identified as Yolanda Harris, 43, who was reported missing and endangered by Mesquite Police at around 7:30 a.m," Beckham stated. "There were no other suspects in the vehicle whenever officers took Ms. Harris into custody. A perimeter search was conducted by all agencies on the scene to attempt to locate any other subjects that might have been inside the vehicle at the time of the incident. No other subjects were located at that time.”
Beckham said he reviewed statements from the Exxon Store Clerk, which stated that there was only a female who had come into the store who paid for gas and provided a phone number to her father. No video was observed to indicate that there was a lady in distress or any other subjects that were located inside of the vehicle at the time of the outcry.
"After further investigation Sgt. Cherry — based off of his professional experience and training — felt that Harris was indeed a patient in crisis,” Beckham said. “At that point and time Sgt. Cherry transported her to the Hickory Trail Hospital in DeSoto for medical/psychological evaluation.”
Beckham said Harris could face charges of filing a false report to a peace officer and evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle. Providing assistance on the call were members of Italy Police Department, Milford Police Department, Hill County Sheriff’s Office, McClennan County Sheriff’s Office and DPS.