By Greg Kendall-Ball Abilene Reporter-News CISCO, Texas — A Department of Public Safety trooper was forced to open fire on his own vehicle Thursday when a man tried to steal the cruiser in Eastland County.
Chris Eugene Durham, 40, flagged down the trooper on Interstate 20 just east of Cisco just before 11 a.m. Thursday. Durham allegedly told the trooper his wife was having a heart attack, so the trooper stopped to render aid and radioed for additional help. An ambulance arrived on the scene, along with an officer from the Cisco Police Department and an Eastland County sheriff's deputy, DPS spokesman Trooper Sparky Dean said.
Dean said it was determined that the woman was not, in fact, having a heart attack.
"Initially, everyone's focus was on the woman. We don't know why the man told us she was having a heart attack, but once they figured out she was OK, the officers started looking at the guy," Dean said.
Due to Durham's behavior at the scene, officers asked for, and were granted, permission to search Durham's vehicle. Narcotics were discovered inside the vehicle, Dean said, and officers placed Durham under arrest.
Durham was able to slip out of the handcuffs and reportedly began to fight with the officers.
Dean said Durham, who appeared to be under the influence of some undetermined substance, was unaffected by multiple shots from the officers' Tasers.
Durham then jumped into the DPS cruiser and attempted to flee, Dean said, at which point the trooper and the sheriff's deputy shot out the tires. Durham crashed the cruiser about two miles down the road.
He was taken into custody and reportedly continued to resist arrest all the way to the Eastland County Jail, where he was being held Thursday evening as officials prepared charges.
"There were no injuries in this whole thing, which is pretty remarkable," Dean said. "The officers would have been justifi ed in using deadly force, but this had the best possible outcome considering what happened. (Durham is) lucky no one got hurt, least of all himself."
Copyright 2012 The E.W. Scripps Company

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