Dallas police were pursuing a robbery suspect, 40-year-old Atrai Alexander, about 3:30 p.m. in northeast Dallas. The suspect was being chased along stretches of 635 before exiting and driving on surface streets.
The Dodge Challenger he was driving then crashed into the back of a minivan at the intersection of Walnut Hill and Abrams.
The driver of the minivan, Jessica Liesmann, then got out of the vehicle, approached the suspect in the Challenger and dragged him out with the help of her boyfriend who was in the minivan with her.
The two then pinned Alexander to the ground until police arrived.
Liesmann and her boyfriend didn't know Alexander was the suspect in a police chase.
"I asked [Alexander], ‘What is wrong with you? What are you thinking? You're in a school zone!'" said Liesmann. "And he had nothing to say and acted like he was trying to run, so I remember kicking the door. All I can think about from there is, ‘You're not getting away, you're not getting away.'"
Liesmann had just picked up her 13-year-old son, T.J., from school and was going to get her daughter when they were hit.
T.J. was in the backseat and took the brunt of the impact, but he quickly forgot the pain.
"I just saw my mom go, ‘Whack! Whack! Whack!'" said T.J. "My stepdad slammed him on the ground and that's about it."
Police later found a gun in the Challenger that Alexander is accused of stealing -- something Liesmann is grateful Alexander didn't use on her.
Liesmann lost her 4-year-old son in August to a medical condition, which is one reason she is incredibly protective of T.J.
Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron, who heads DPD's communications department, tweeted after the chase he was "thankful that the citizens who held the chase suspect down weren't injured by him" and he "would never advise" people to take such action.
Alexander is in custody, charged with evading arrest and aggravated robbery.
Alexander has a substantial criminal history – he has been previously arrested for drugs, family violence, resisting arrest and unlawful restraint.
His social media profiles say that he is an aspiring musician.
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