SAN ANTONIO -

A handcuffed man slipped away from San Antonio police during a drunken driving arrest, and investigators said his girlfriend helped him escape custody.

The incident happened early Monday morning at the corner of SW 42nd Street and Irma, on San Antonio's west side.

Officers pulled over the suspect around midnight on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

The suspect -- who has not been publicly identified by police -- was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a patrol car.

"When the officer was processing the prisoner to bring downtown, the prisoner made a request of the officer to please allow someone to come down and recover his vehicle, so that it wouldn't have to be impounded," said San Antonio police Sgt. Javier Salazar.

The man's girlfriend, 19-year-old Danielle Cruz Brieno, and her mother arrived, and Brieno opened the door of the patrol car allowing the handcuffed suspect to flee on foot, police said.

Officers searched the area with the SAPD Blue Eagle helicopter and a K-9 unit, but were not able to locate the suspect.

Brieno was then arrested and charged with hindering apprehension. The car was towed as well.

Police said the suspect will face DWI charges and a felony charge for escaping upon being captured.

"His life has become somewhat more complicated now because of this. As well as the young lady," Salazar said.

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