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Cochran County deputies apprehend suspect in pursuit

By Kati Walker
News Editor

Levelland police and Cochran County Sheriff Deputies were involved in a vehicle pursuit that went through Hockley County into Cochran County Wednesday, Dec. 21.
Joel Lopez, 22, of Morton, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as a result of the pursuit. Chief Cochran County Deputy Theo Galvan said more charges may follow.
The pursuit began around 6 p.m. Wednesday when a Levelland police officer attempted to stop a vehicle on the west side of town.
According to reports, the vehicle refused to stop and continued west into Cochran County at high speeds.
The Levelland officer observed the driver throwing plastic bags and a white powdery substance out the window.
Approximately five miles outside of Morton, the Levelland police officer terminated pursuit of the vehicle and Cochran County deputies resumed.
Galvan said the deputy attempted to lay spike strips to stop the vehicle but was unable to safely do so and continued to pursue the vehicle through Morton.
Galvan chased the vehicle until it reached the intersection of SE 4th Street and E. Fillmore Streets in Morton where the vehicle was blocked. Lopez put the vehicle in reverse and front-ended Galvan’s patrol unit before fleeing the scene.
Galvan said his vehicle sustained serious damage to the front end and another deputy continued the pursuit.
Deputy Scott Prothro located the vehicle and the driver had fled the scene.
The owner of the vehicle provided the information needed in order for Galvan to obtain an arrest warrant.
Thursday, Dec. 22, Galvan was talking to residents on SE 5th Street, searching for the suspect.
He entered one residence and asked if they had seen Lopez. They denied seeing him but Galvan said he heard movement above him and suspected Lopez might be hiding in the attic.
Eventually, Lopez was located and apprehended. Lopez is currently being held at the Cochran County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

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