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High Speed Chase Ends When Suspect's Car Has Blowout

A lengthy car chase that began in residential areas of Wichita Falls and ended in Clay County on Highway 79 ended after the suspect's car had a blowout.
A lengthy car chase that began in residential areas of Wichita Falls and ended in Clay County on Highway 79 ended after the suspect's car had a blowout.

It began around 3:20 Tuesday afternoon near 9th and Baylor when police say they tried to make a traffic stop and the driver, 28-year-old Charles Eric Bartee, began to throw baggies out of the window and sped off.

They began a pursuit that went down Brook, Speedway to Holliday, and then to Galveston where Bartee ran a red light and then headed the wrong direction. After going through the east side, he headed out East Scott to Highway 79 and north into Clay County.

Clay County and DPS units were dispatched and about 20 minutes after it began, the chase ended about a mile from Dean when the car had a blowout.

It kept traveling at about 70 miles an hour for a while but finally stopped.

Speeds on 79 were reported up to 90 miles an hour, but in town it ranged from about 35 to 50. Police commanders were in constant contact with pursuing officers about the speeds and traffic situation along the route.

"They stay very involved in these situations..they can be very dangerous and we have protocol in place that were completely followed and every one of these is reviewed afterwards to make sure all the rules were followed," says Sgt. John Spragins.

Bartee was taken into custody without a struggle, and faces at least five charges including 3 felonies, evading in a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), tampering with evidence, and driving while intoxicated.

Minor damage was reported on one police car after another car hit it from behind when the officer had to slam on the brakes.
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