Texas woman flees arrest; distracted deputy and drove off in squad car

Editor's Note: Be sure to read the related tip, How to prevent "jumping through the handcuffs" (Secured- LE only)

By Holly Yan
The Dallas Morning News

A woman who was arrested and handcuffed in the passenger seat of a sheriff's deputy's car was at large Friday after jumping into the driver's seat and taking off, authorities said.

Amanda Hernandez Juarez, 28, was speeding on Interstate 635 near Plano Road about 12:30 p.m. when she was pulled over in a parking lot, said Deputy Raul Reyna, Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

Ms. Hernandez Juarez told the deputy who stopped her that she was wanted on outstanding police warrants. The deputy handcuffed Ms. Hernandez Juarez, double-locked the cuffs behind her back and placed her in the passenger seat of his squad car, Deputy Reyna said.

As the deputy tried to confirm the warrants, Ms. Hernandez Juarez told him she needed her inhaler from her car.

"The officer went to retrieve it, and it was then that she somehow got her hands in front and jumped in driver's seat, taking the squad car," Deputy Reyna said in a news release. "[The] officer tried to stop her and was hit by the car mirror as she drove away."

The officer, whose name was not released, was not seriously injured. His car was found shortly thereafter near Distribution Drive and Miller Road, a few miles away.

Investigators received information that Ms. Hernandez Juarez was seen getting into a small black pickup with tinted windows.

Ms. Hernandez Juarez has previous convictions for prostitution, theft, escape and possession of marijuana. She now faces charges of aggravated assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and escape from custody.

Anyone with information about Ms. Hernandez Juarez's whereabouts can call 214-749-8641.

Deputy Reyna said the department will investigate whether the officer followed procedure.

Copyright 2006 The Dallas Morning News

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