OPD: Theft suspect fleeing scene nearly ran over officer

A 30-year-old man was arrested early Thursday morning after nearly running over an Odessa police officer in the parking lot of Walgreens while trying to flee the scene of a theft, an Odessa Police news release stated.

Police identified the man as Matthew Head, who is now facing charges of attempted aggravated assault on a public servant, a second-degree felony, evading arrest in a motor vehicle, a state jail felony and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a state jail felony. He was also arrested for two misdemeanor warrants, the release said.

Officers were flagged down at about 8:56 p.m. Wednesday while patrolling the area of 42nd Street and Grandview Avenue in reference to a theft at Walgreens. After confronting the theft suspect, who was in a green 1994 Ford Ranger in the parking lot, and trying to detain him, the suspect began to leave in the vehicle, the release said.

Head placed the vehicle in reverse, nearly striking an officer with the driver’s door and almost ran over the officer’s foot, OPD reported. The officer had to move out of the way to avoid being struck by the vehicle and Head fled the scene driving the truck.

Several OPD officers activated their emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to stop him, but he refused to stop, the release said. Head continued evading until he crashed in the south alley of the 1600 block of Boise Drive. He then exited the vehicle and fled on foot before being caught by officers in the 5400 block of Devonian, the release said.

There were no reports of any injuries. Investigation revealed the listed vehicle had previously been reported stolen. Head admitted to detectives he took the vehicle on Tuesday without the owner’s consent, the release said.