Fort Hood gate blocks police car instead of fleeing vehicle

FORT HOOD — As guards quickly attempted to deploy a security barrier, a driver fleeing from police in a GMC Suburban zipped through Fort Hood’s Mayborn Gate on Thursday, officials said.

The person in the vehicle was leading Killeen police in a chase about 12:15 a.m. when the vehicle entered Fort Hood’s east entrance from the city’s Rancier Avenue, said Fort Hood spokesman Tyler Broadway.

Military guards at the gate activated a hydraulic barrier built into the roadway, but the 2007 Suburban had already crossed it by the time it was up. The barrier did, however, stop the Killeen Police Department car that was chasing the Suburban, Broadway said.

The driver of the Suburban stopped the vehicle about three-quarters of a mile down the road on Fort Hood’s Tank Destroyer Boulevard and escaped on foot, Broadway said.

Narcotics were located inside the vehicle, according to a news release from KPD.

The chase began when KPD officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle at Killeen’s Long Branch Park at about 11:51 p.m. for a park curfew violation, police said. The suspect refused to stop, resulting in the vehicle pursuit that led to the Fort Hood gate.

As of Friday afternoon, KPD and military police were still looking for the driver.

Killeen police said the Suburban was not stolen. Police did not provide a name or description of the driver.

KPD would not say if police have tracked down the owner of the vehicle through registration records.

“The case is currently under investigation, so we’re not releasing information at this time,” said KPD spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez.

Killeen has a curfew for minors from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Fort Hood would not say if extra security measures are in place because of the incident.

“Fort Hood officials continuously to assess the safety and security of those who live and work on Fort Hood,” post officials said in a statement. “With that said, we do not discuss specific aspects of our force protection posture for operational security reasons.”

A similar incident occurred Nov. 2, when a car chase involving a state trooper and a vehicle he was pursuing briefly entered Fort Hood.

The chase started with a traffic violation on U.S. Highway 190 between Copperas Cove and Killeen and went through the Fort Hood gate on Clear Creek Road.

The vehicle — a blue, Toyota, two-door passenger car with a male driver and no other occupants — disregarded all gate security.

The vehicle continued to evade the trooper on Fort Hood, eventually exiting post westbound on State Highway 9.

The trooper lost sight of the vehicle after it left Fort Hood. The vehicle was later found abandoned on Farm-to-Market 116 north of Copperas Cove.

The driver in that case was not caught either.

The Herald has filed open-records requests for reports on the security breaches.