Nine illegal immigrants captured after pursuit in Jim Wells County

Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent

A recent high speed pursuit and bail out in Jim Wells County involving suspected illegal immigrants ended when a Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department deputy was forced to fire his Taser at one of the illegal immigrants.

According to records released Friday by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department, the incident began shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday when a trooper with the Department of Public Safety requested assistance in locating a suspicious vehicle.

Deputies located the vehicle, a white Ford pickup truck, traveling eastbound on County Road 211 and initiated a pursuit when the driver of the vehicle refused to stop.

The pursuit continued as the vehicle disregarded a stop sign and turned onto Highway 359, and ended when the vehicle came to a stop a short time later.

Once the vehicle stopped, a number of individuals jumped out of the truck and began running into the brush. Deputies were able to force several of the occupants to the ground, but one of the men in the bed of the truck reportedly reached for something in the vehicle and refused commands to stop.

According to the report, Sgt. Odel Mendoza drew his Taser stun gun and again ordered the man to the ground.

When the man did not comply, Mendoza fired the Taser at the subject, striking him in the back. The man continued to struggle with the deputies while the leads from the Taser were still attached to him, and Mendoza reportedly used those leads to stun the man twice more before he could be completely subdued.

A total of nine illegal immigrants, six men and three women, were apprehended, and an unknown number escaped into the brush.

The illegal immigrants, who are believed to be from Mexico, Chile and Venezuela, were released to the U.S. Border Patrol.