Traffic at the intersection of Hwy 21 and Hwy 95 in Bastrop was moving Wednesday at its typical pace.
Tuesday morning though, a dangerous and chaotic scene played out here
"This thing was a disaster diverted, it’s no question,” said Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook.
Sheriff Cook and his deputies were part of a multi-agency response. It involved deputies from Lee County, the city of Bastrop and state troopers. "First of all in a case like this you adapt and overcome. You just simply do the things necessary to overcome the situation,” said Sheriff Cook.
Authorities were after Brandon Viator. He escaped after being brought to district court in Giddings where he was scheduled for a probation revocation hearing.
Lee County Sheriff Rodney Meyer tells FOX 7 Austin that it appears human error allowed Brandon Viator to slip out of his shackles. They were not tightened, according to the Sheriff. Later, bolt cutters were used to remove the remaining part of the restraint.
Viator’s mother, Madge Viator, was allegedly waiting for him in a truck. She was later dropped off near a convenience store in Paige. Authorities found her, and Wednesday formal charges were filed.
Bond for Madge Viator was set at $100,000.
When the chase reached Bastrop, Viator jumped out of the truck, which was still moving. It was witnessed by Christina Salinas. "He jumped out with a rifle bag in his left hand and a cigarette in his right hand, and he started running and then we realized we were kind of close at that point, that he has a gun, they had to literally hit him with a vehicle to knock him down,” said Salinas.
A Bastrop County patrol unit, driven by one of Sheriff Cook's captains, provided that critical nudge.
"And the Captain through his training and experience, knew that was the right thing to do at that moment. He was attempting to get his weapon out. It happened to be a rifle,” said Sheriff Cook.
Despite being hit by the SUV, Viator was able to get up. He was eventually caught.
A Bastrop County deputy hurt his hand during the apprehension.