Female Houdini: Video shows the moment a Texas woman slips out of handcuffs and hijacks cop car, leading officers on 100mph chase for 23 minutes. Oh, she also tried to get a locked gun and even managed to avoid a spike strip.
The Lufkin Police Department released the video with the following statement
PURSUIT VIDEO: Toscha Sponsler, 33, of Pollok, stole a patrol unit Saturday following a call of a possible shoplifter at Ulta.
After officers ran her down on foot, Sponsler was cuffed behind her back and seat belted into a patrol unit.
As officers went through her bags of stolen goods, Sponsler removed her seat belt, slipped her cuffs and climbed through a window partition to the driver’s seat.
She then led officers on a 23-minute, 100 mph chase that began at Ulta and ended in Zavalla after a DPS Trooper used a PIT maneuver to make her lose control of the vehicle.
Sponsler nearly went head on with two Lufkin officers and a Huntington constable during the pursuit. Throughout the chase, officers could see her reaching for the officer’s shotgun which was mechanically locked to the vehicle.
She waived medical treatment at the scene and was taken to the Angelina County Jail where she remains on a collective $18,000 bond.
Sponsler is charged with escape causing serious bodily injury/threat of a deadly weapon, aggravated assault against a public servant, possession of a controlled substance, evading arrest with a vehicle with a previous conviction and unauthorized use of a vehicle
Video released by the Lufkin Police Department shows Toscha Fay Sponsler, 33, being handcuffed on the ground and then put in the back of a squad car while officers examine evidence at the scene.
In that brief period of time however, the dash cam in the vehicle captured Sponsler easily wriggling out of her handcuffs.
Checking the scene: Sponsler made sure that officers were busy going through evidence (left) and then hopped over the car’s divide/
She then drove off in the police cruiser.
the Lufkin Police stated
‘Sponsler nearly went head on with two Lufkin officers and a Huntington constable during the pursuit.’
The post then stated: ‘Throughout the chase, officers could see her reaching for the officer’s shotgun which was mechanically locked to the vehicle.’
Sponsler even managed to avoid a spike strip that was thrown across the road in front of her vehicle.
DPS Trooper used a PIT maneuver to make her lose control of the vehicle. The PIT maneuver, or Pursuit Intervention Technique, is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop.
Other names include pit block, pit stop and blocking. It was developed and named by the Fairfax County Police Department of Virginia, United States.
Other interpretations of the acronym “PIT” include pursuit immobilization technique, pursuit intervention technique, precision immobilization technique, push it tough, parallel immobilization technique, and precision intervention tactic.
The technique is also known as tactical car intervention, tactical ramming, legal intervention, and fishtailing.
The technique is typically used by law enforcement officers as a safer alternative with which to bring car chases to a conclusion
After the cruiser had crashed into a tree on the side of the road, multiple officers surrounded Sponsler with guns drawn, with one breaking through the window and pulling her out of the unit.
She was then cuffed on the ground for the second time that day.
Sponsler refused medical attention in the wake of the crash and was taken to Angelina County Jail.
She remains there four days later as she has yet to pay her bond (a collective $18,000 bond), with varying amounts applied to five of her charges.
The Lufkin Police Department meanwhile said they have also learned a valuable lesson after the incident, posting a video of one cop drilling in a tactical window between the front and backseats of the cars so an incident like this will not happen again.