A robbery of a convenience store turned into an afternoon high speed chase involving multiple law officials across parish lines Thursday.
At approximately 2:24 p.m. Wednesday, the Bastrop Police Department received a robbery call that was in progress at E-Z Mart No. 203 at 1231 North Washington St.
“We were told it had been robbed by a Hispanic male wearing a black and white plaid jacket with what appeared to be a nine-millimeter pistol,” said Bastrop Police Chief Downey Black.
After robbing the store, the man left on foot, walking down Highland Avenue beside the store.
Black said BPD Cpt. Anthony Evans was the first to respond at the scene.
“When he turned onto Highland, he observed a gray or silver truck picking up a man who fit the description of the suspect,” Black said.
Evans called in the tag number on the truck and attempted to make a traffic stop.
“The truck refused to stop,” Black said.
Black said the pursuit started on Highland and moved toward Forrest Street. The truck then travelled east toward Washington.
“The subject’s vehicle hit two cars at the corner of Madison and Washington,” Black said. “Minor injuries were reported.”
Black said the truck continued to Monroe where it caused another wreck on Hwy. 165 in Monroe.
It came to a stop on DeSiard St. in Monroe.
“They finally had to give up because their vehicle had sustained too much damage to continue,” Black said. “After being in the wrecks it had been in, the tires were flat and coming off the rims.”
Black said the passenger, later identified as 19 year old Raul Castro of Bernice, La., surrendered immediately.
“The driver ran, but he was immediately apprehended,” Black said.
The driver was later identified as 21 year old Manuel Barajas Jr. of Downsville, La.
Black said officers at the scene included state troopers, the University of Louisiana police dept., Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Sterlington Police Dept., Monroe City Police Dept. and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“They were working together to block the roads and corner the suspect’s vehicle,” Black said.
Castro and Barajas were taken into custody and booked in at the Ouachita Correctional Center in Monroe.
Soon after being booked in at OCC, they were transported to Bastrop Police Department where they were booked.
Castro was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Page 2 of 2 - Barajas was charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and aggravated flight from an officer.