Oh to have been a motorist in the 5900 block of the West Sam Houston Parkway South on the night of December 30 of last year...
According to court documents, that was when a Harris County Constable saw a northbound 2010 Jeep go whizzing past at well above the speed limit. The driver -- one Luis Daniel Colon -- also failed to signal a lane change, so the constable hit his lights and gave pursuit.
At first it looked like an ordinary traffic stop. Colon slowed down and eased the Jeep over to the shoulder. But instead of stopping, Colon rolled down his window and threw an undisclosed (but presumably fairly large) quantity of cash out of the Jeep and into oncoming traffic. And then he sped off again.
According to the constable, Colon continued up the Beltway at high speed, slowing only to jettison dinero twice more. Two miles from where the chase began, Colon stopped and submitted to arrest. By that time there was no money left in the Jeep, but apparently Colon was so focused on getting rid of the cash, he forgot that there was also (allegedly) a gram of blow in his ride.
Meanwhile, as you might imagine, pandemonium was ensuing in Colon's wake. To tapped-out, post-Christmas Houstonians, Santa came late but brought it hard. The Beltway must have been like a very deadly version of one of those game-show cash-grab wind-tunnels, or some demented version of Human Frogger.
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"Colon's actions caused havoc and created a very dangerous situation over a two-mile stretch of this busy parkway," noted a police report. "Drivers were stopping their vehicles on the sides of the parkway as well as entering moving lanes of traffic in their attempt to recover the U.S. currency. Deputies/Officers had to eventually shut down the entire northbound side of the West Sam Houston Parkway South to recover the currency but also to prevent people from being hurt."
Cops beat the frenzied motoring public to $21,851, but as the report also noted, they "are confident an undetermined amount was not recovered." Colon denied throwing the money out of his car and claimed he had nothing whatsoever to do with it; however, his actions were reportedly captured on the dash-cam of one of the pursuing deputies.
Colon was charged with possession of a gram or less of cocaine and felony evading arrest. He jumped bond and is currently a wanted man. Partially because Colon was not around to fight his case, last month the State of Texas successfully claimed the $21,851 as contraband in a seizure/forfeiture suit.
So in a sense we'll all be getting a share of that loot. But not nearly as much as we would have gotten had we been tooling up the Beltway behind Santa Colon on December 30....