Man Darts Out into Oncoming Traffic During Arrest on I-45

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

A man arrested during a traffic stop intentionally runs out into oncoming traffic on I-45 in Madison County. He was pulled to safety by authorities before being hit by two 18-wheelers.

Before being pulled over for speeding on I-45 in Madison County Thursday afternoon, authorities say 24-year-old Ashley Butler and her passenger, 37-year-old Theophus Lee Billings, say they were heading north to Dallas.

“As I was walking up to the vehicle, I saw the passenger [Billings] reaching around the seat, and as I approached the window, he had marijuana in his lap,” explained Madison County Sheriff's Deputy Eugene Harbin.

Billings was asked to step out of the vehicle and was immediately placed in handcuffs. Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers were also called in to assist as Harbin searched the vehicle.

“He was calm during the arrest and so was the female driver, but I guess we located some items in his trunk that he wasn’t comfortable with us looking at,” explained Deputy Harbin.

Within 13 minutes Deputy Harbin found marijuana, six forged prescriptions and three fake ID's that were in Billings name.

“During the traffic stop, I noticed he kept trying to walk out in the road,” added Harbin. “He was told to remain place and face away from the vehicle, but he wouldn’t comply.”

During the search of the vehicle, dash cam footage shows a handcuffed Billings darting out into oncoming traffic. Deputy Harbin along with DPS Trooper Ben Wolf and DPS Trooper Felipe Garcia chased after the suspect, and after a short struggle, Billings was apprehended.

“I’m just thankful no one was injured and we were able to bring him back to safety,” said Harbin.

Billings is charged with:
Possession of fraudulent prescriptions (3rd Degree Felony)
Escape from Custody while under arrest (3rd Degree Felony)
Resisting arrest, search, or Transport (Class A Misdemeanor)
Possession of marijuana less than 2 oz. (Class B Misdemeanor)

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