Officers arrest wanted man following chase in Alice

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal
Neal Lee Prather was arrested Friday afternoon through a joint law enforcement operation. He was wanted by the sheriff's office following a aggravated assault with a deadly weapon incident that occurred in March.

Neal Lee Prather was arrested Friday, April 16 by law enforcement officers after a chase through the neighborhoods of Alice.

The arrest of the 42-year-old Orange Grove man was a joint operation by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office, the United States Marshals, the Alice Police Department, Duval County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Public Safety.

Prather was wanted in connection with an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon that occurred on March 26 at a home on the 100 block of County Road 304. The victim told  police that Prather jumped the fence to his workplace and assaulted him with a bat.

"We've been chasing Prather for the last several days. In fact, even the Corpus Christi Police Department got involved in the manhunt for (Prather) where he evaded them," said Lt. Alan Gonzalez with the JWC Sheriff Office. "Today's date, we received information from the Alice Police Department, that Prather maybe in Alice. It was followed up by more information from the US Marshals and we ended up at (an apartment complex on the 2000 South Cameron Street) where we maintained surveillance."

When deputies attempted to make contact with Prather he fled the scene.

"He evaded officers in a Ford F-150 silver in color truck for a short while through the neighborhoods. Officers called for backup. We were able to notify the Alice Police Department. They assisted us in locating Prather somewhere in the area of 2000 block of Suarez and Brewer, where we took him into custody," Gonzalez said. 

Prather is facing multiple felony charges , misdemeanor charges, charges out of CCPD.

"He is a dangerous individual who is off the streets of Jim Wells County and Alice, Texas. We're very happy that nobody got hurt  in this situation...We did believe him to be armed and dangerous. However, he did dump a gun during the chase with Corpus Christi Police Department," Gonzalez said.

When Prather arrived at the JWC Sheriff's Office, he had blood running down his face and continued to resist officers. EMS was called twice to provide treatment. At the scene, Prather refused treatment. The second time was at the JWC Sheriff's Office. EMS took his vitals and cleaned his face. Officers gave Prather water as he rested on the sidewalk.

"He's resisting. It happens. Anytime that you try to restrain a grown man and he doesn't want to be restrained, he's going to move and wiggle and you try to get him help  and he pulls away from you, that's what happens," Gonzalez explained. "When you're restrained and the officers are trying to get you out and he pulls away...he's hobbled, basically, his feet are together so that he doesn't kick out the windows (of the police unit) and he fell and hit his head. We did get EMS as soon as he was injured," Gonzalez stated. 

When deputies and correctional officers attempted to take him to the jail, he resisted and pulled away from them.

"We had to displace all four limbs for his safety so that he wouldn't be injured," Gonzalez said.

JWC Sheriff deputies and correctional officers had to carry Neal Lee Prather to the JWC jail. He resisted the deputies attempts to walk him to the jail.

Prather was charged with two counts of violation of protective order, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson, violation of court order, evading arrest using motor vehicle, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest/transport/ unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, two criminal mischief, harassment and burglary of habitation. The total bond is $3843,5000.