Austin police spike wrong vehicle during pursuit

Austin police said they were trying to help Hays County officers catch a high-speed chase suspect when they accidentally spike stripped the wrong car.

Around 3:30 Saturday morning Hays County officers were chasing a white PT Cruiser heading north on I-35. Once the vehicle entered Travis County, Austin police got involved, but when police laid down spike strips to catch the suspect, they hit a grey Hyundai sedan instead.

Christopher Brown is still shaken up after his drive home.

“Soon as I was coming down the freeway, I saw an officer's car parked on the side of the highway. As I looked to the right, I saw the officer sliding some spikes on the side of the road. So when I was coming down the highway I hit them,” Brown said. 

Police said they were trying to stop the suspect in a white PT Cruiser, but got mixed up and spiked Brown's car instead.

“The car started shaking and I slowed down and turned off the highway,” said Brown.

Even though Brown’s car is obviously different than the suspect's vehicle they were looking for, the pursuit didn't end there.

“They asked me to put my hands out the window, and I basically did everything they were telling me to do, so when I backed out of the car, they asked me to back up, they had shotguns on me and everything,” said Brown. 

Brown still had no idea why he was being pulled over, but said he cooperated with police.

“They put me in handcuffs and put me in the police vehicle. Then 3-5 minutes later they pulled me out the vehicle and told me they had mistaken my vehicle for another vehicle and they apologized and said, ‘I'm sorry,’ but I was scared for my life,” Brown said. 

Once he was released, Brown was left with two flat tires, one of them still showing spikes in the tread, on his brand new Hyundai G350.

“He gave me a number to call city legal and told me they'd fix my tires, but I called them this morning and they were closed. So I had to pay this morning to get my tires fixed myself,” Brown said. 

Brown said he understands Austin police were trying to help and got confused, but he's still not sure how he got caught up in such a scary situation.

“I don't understand how you can get a white PT Cruiser mixed up from a grey vehicle,” said Brown. 

Austin police have confirmed the incident took place, but said it was an honest mistake.

Brown said he will call the city's legal department Monday to try and get reimbursed for his tires.

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