A 21-year-old Palestine man alleged to have robbed a Crockett convenience store over the weekend and then led authorities on a high-speed chase was transferred to the Houston County Jail in Crockett Monday.

DeArthur Pinson, 21, of Palestine faces a robbery charge in Houston County after allegedly taking approximately $200 from Doc’s Country Store on U.S. 287 North in Crockett around 6:40 a.m. Saturday, according to authorities.

After robbing the store, authorities have said Pinson headed north on U.S. 287 towards Palestine, driving past a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper near Latexo at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor.

“Stop sticks” which are used to deflate a vehicle’s tires were deployed near the intersection of FM 2419 and U.S. 287 between Elkhart and Palestine, according to the sheriff.

Pinson drove over the sticks, but continued to drive until his vehicle became totally disabled on East Palestine Avenue between North Link and North Cedar streets, Taylor said.

Pinson exited the vehicle and then fled on foot running southbound between North Link and North Cedar streets, the sheriff added. An Anderson County sheriff’s deputy, who was operating his squad car on North Cedar Street, instructed Pinson to stop, but the suspect did not comply, according to Taylor.

The deputy fired two shots at Pinson — both of which missed the suspect — after the man appeared to be reaching inside his coat as if to be retrieving a weapon, Taylor said.

Another Anderson County sheriff’s deputy apprehended Pinson a short time later behind a house in the 1100 block of North Link Street, according to authorities.

Taylor said an “automatic internal investigation” will be initiated based on the officer firing shots, but indicated there was no reason to believe any departmental policies or procedures were violated.

“I’m just thankful no one was hurt,” Taylor said Monday. “It could have been bad.”

The sheriff said Pinson is believed to be a member of the U.S. Army who recently returned from duty in Iraq.

Ironically, Pinson was arrested by Palestine police in November 2003 on a warrant for military desertion. He also had a trace amount of cocaine in his possession at the time of that arrest, according to authorities.

Prior to committing the alleged robbery in Crockett, Pinson unsuccessfully attempted to make an “ATM or credit card” account withdrawal inside the same store, according to Taylor.

Pinson then allegedly “told the clerk he had a gun” and made away “with a couple of hundred dollars cash” during the robbery, according to the sheriff.

The clerk did not see a gun, and authorities have been unable to locate a weapon during their investigation, Taylor added.

The sheriff added it was unclear why Pinson was in Crockett.

As of late Monday afternoon, Pinson was being held in the Houston County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $350,000 on the robbery charge there and the local charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle, according to Taylor.


Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

This Week's Circulars