Friday, Nov. 13 has been a busy one for local law enforcement. In a three hour span early this morning, local officials responded to what is believed to be a crime spree involving 3 stolen vehicles and several vehicle burglaries ended in 3 crashes, 1 arrest and one reported fatality, according to law enforcement reports.
The activity began around 1:02 a.m. Friday with a report of a suspicious vehicle, possibly vehicle burglaries in progress, in the area of Sulphur Springs Public Library, according to law enforcement reports.
Upon arrival, officer spotted a truck. While police were turning around, the occupants fled at a high rate of speed in what was believed to be an attempt to evade police. The truck continued to Main Street, where it crashed into a light pole behind the police department, according to Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jason Ricketson.
When officers arrived at the truck, the two previously observed occupants of the truck had fled on foot. Attempts to locate the pair were unsuccessful at that time. The vehicle was determined to have been stolen, according to the police chief.
A short wile later, Ricketson reported, officers responded to a report of a possible vehicle burglary in progress on Houston Street. While checking that report, additional suspected vehicle burglaries were reported in the area of North Locust Street and Main Street, police reported seeing a Honda Accord being driven with no lights on. SSPD Cpl. Chris Rosamond attempted to stop the car. The driver allegedly continued traveling a “significant distance” in the vehicle until the Accord crashed, reportedly into a concrete divider or road control device, on Houston Street at North Hillcrest Drive where the car around 2:50 a.m. Friday, Nov. 13, Rosamond and SSPD Officer Silas Whaley alleged in arrest reports.
Officers removed the sole occupant, identified in police reports as 19-year-old Sunny J Lea Sweatman of Dallas, out of the car at gunpoint and took her into custody for evading arrest or detention in a vehicle. Officers later discovered the Honda Accord had been stolen from a residence on Main Street, resulting in the Dallas woman also being charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle as well, Rosamond and Whaley alleged in arrest reports.
Sunny Sweatman remained in Hopkins County jail later Friday morning; her bond was set at $10,000 on the evading arrest or detention with a vehicle charge and $5,000 on the stolen vehicle charge, according to jail reports.
According to Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office reports, a Toyota 4-Runner reportedly went off the north Interstate-30 service road, up an embankment and impacted the US Business 67 bridge near the 120 mile marker just west of Sulphur springs. The vehicle reportedly landed upside down between the north service road and Interstate 30 west, according to sheriff’s reports. A male, identified only as a 36-year-old, was reportedly ejected from the vehicle and died as a result of the crash, according to Justice of the Peace BJ Teer.
The vehicle came back to a Lee Street address. Officials determined the vehicle was stolen and notified SSPD. After additional investigation, authorities found information indicating the the deceased man to be a 36-year-old who has had a connection to Hopkins County, according to authorities.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Arturo Ugalde is leading the investigation into the crash, reported at 3:50 a.m. Nov. 13. No additional information regarding the crash had been released at 10:40 a.m. Friday by DPS.
“We think the stolen vehicle cases and motor vehicle burglaries are related. The investigation is ongoing by law enforcement,” Ricketson said late Friday morning.