Port Arthur shootings investigation leads to high speed chase in residential area, police say

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 15, 2023

A Port Arthur man who allegedly fled from police at high speeds while driving in residential areas crashed into a parked vehicle, then ran and hid, police say.

He was indicted this week by a Jefferson County grand jury.

Brayan Cruz, 18, was reportedly in the parking lot of Lakeview Park in the 5200 block of 7th Street, along with several other vehicles, when Port Arthur Police Department officers approached Nov. 15 to detain the people to investigate recent shootings.

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The probable cause affidavit states the park has problems with people shooting, hanging out, drinking alcohol and using drugs, as well as reckless driving.

An officer noted one particular vehicle alleged to be involved in several shootings and an aggravated assault the previous week.

The officer attempted to speak with the people in the vehicle, but they drove away, the document read. The vehicle left at a high rate of speed westbound on 7th Street with the officer in pursuit.

The chase continued, and the vehicle turned south onto the 700 block of Williams Avenue and reportedly increased in speed to approximately 80 to 90 miles per hour on a residential road.

The vehicle drove south three blocks until reaching Procter Street, where the driver lost control, hit a parked car and wrecked, coming to a stop in the 400 block of Williams Avenue.

The driver, later identified as Brayan Cruz, fled on foot and hid behind a nearby house, police said.

He was found behind a house in the 5200 block of 4th Street and placed under arrest for evading arrest with a vehicle. As of Thursday, Cruz was no longer listed as an inmate in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.