Man Who Led Police Through a Dangerous Chase Monday is Behind Bars

LUBBOCK,TX - Lubbock Police arrested 21 year old Juan Mermella on five charges in connection to the police chase Monday afternoon.

Police responded to a domestic dispute call at 2821 50th Street, CiCi's Pizza's, involving Mermella and his girlfriend.

They added his girlfriend also had her two children in the car during the time, and Mermella had a gun.

Officials added that Mermella forced his girlfriend into his vehicle with her children inside, and drove to his house in Central Lubbock. 

When police arrived, the officer found Mermella's girlfriend in the front yard and the suspect inside the residence.

The officer on-scene reported hearing what appeared to be gun shots from inside the residence. The officer then took cover with Mermella's girlfriend behind his patrol car.

They added the suspect then pushed through the front door and drove off on his motorcycle.

"It's a rapid decision-making process during a pursuit," Lubbock Police Assistant Chief Neal Barron said. "When you're traveling in a vehicle at a high rate of speed your mind is processing a lot of details, a lot of adaptations that you need to make in your driving style."

From skycam footage obtained by KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com, it appears four police cars were involved in the pursuit that traveled across town.

Police said a supervisor called off the pursuit.

Barron said a chase can be called off at any time by the officer involved or the supervisor on staff, and can usually be from a safety concern to other drivers. He added that most pursuits occur from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

"There's a lot of things that influence whether or not supervisors allow a pursuit to continue," Barron said. "I think during those hours I think there is less of a perplexities for endangering the public, there's less traffic on the roadway."

Police Dispatch then received calls spotting the suspect at the Lowe's parking lot. 

They added a LSO found the suspect, and arrested him after crashing near a Jimmy Johns at 50th Street and Slide. 

Police reported no injuries in the domestic dispute or police chase. 

Mermalla was arrested and booked in the Lubbock county jail for aggravated assault, abandoning or endangering a child, evading arrest, felon in possession of a firearm, and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. 


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