A car chase into the Heights took a dire turn last Sunday night when a suspect died shortly after being taken into custody by the Houston Police Department.
HPD assistant chief James Jones said the suspect, identified as 28-year-old LaJuan Hardman by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Services, was apprehended after fleeing a truck he was driving in the 100 block of East 10th Street. According to Jones, Hardman then began experiencing medical problems such as shortness of breath, at which point Jones said HPD called paramedics from the Houston Fire Department to evaluate him.
HPD said in a news release that paramedics later attempted CPR on Hardman, who was transported to Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital and pronounced dead.
HPD’s Special Investigations Unit and the Internal Affairs Division are investigating the incident, according to a news release from HPD.
Shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, Jones said officers pulled up behind a white GMC pickup truck towing a trailer police say was stolen. When officers attempted to stop the truck, Jones said Hardman and two other suspects in another vehicle briefly led police on a low-speed chase for about 2 miles from the North Freeway through the Heights to the 100 block of East 10th Street, where the two other suspects were apprehended.
At that point, Jones said Hardman attempted to ditch the truck and flee on foot. A short time later, however, police located Hardman and took him into custody.
The other suspects, Jaqualyn White, 20, and Tyrell Fredrick, 24, were arrested and charged with felony theft. Police say they are believed to be involved in the initial theft of the truck.