Driver accused of ramming police car in attempt to flee
Officer tried to stop driver for low-hanging muffler
CHINA GROVE, Texas - A driver who had car troubles on the east side of town now is faced with bigger problems—criminal charges for allegedly attempting to run from a China Grove police officer and ram his patrol vehicle.
Officer Damien Balderas said he noticed a passing car on FM 1516 that had its muffler dragging on the ground.
He said he attempted to stop the car shortly before 8 pm Sunday, but the driver sped off, leading Balderas on a brief chase into Bexar County.
"We came to the intersection here of FM 1346 and 1516," said Balderas. "I went to cut the car off and he ran into the side of my vehicle."
The crash, Balderas said, caused a dent on the passenger’s side of his SUV.
Balderas said he was not hurt, physically, but the crash did injure his pride. He said the SUV is one of the department's newest units, only three months old.
The driver, who identified himself as Dennis Clark, was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer.
However, he said he believes the incident was more of an accident than an assault.
"I took off, I did," Clark said. "Then he cut in front of me. I didn't ram his car."
Clark said he was actually driving around at the time, looking for a shop that could fix his low-hanging muffler.
But he said he had no luck finding a car repair business open on a Sunday night.
He said he planned to go back home to return his family’s only car to his wife, who needs it to go to work.
"I was trying to do right, but it just didn't turn out," Clark said. "I'm in bad shape right now."
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