The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added a “fast & devilish-looking” new vehicle to their stable of patrol cars through asset forfeiture.
Texas DPS — Southeast Region shared images of the agency’s new 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye on social media last week, noting that “the 1,080 HP Dodge Hellcat went from evading law enforcement in Harris Co. to now catching criminals wherever it roams in Texas. The fast & devilish-looking car was added to the DPS fleet of patrol vehicles after a judge awarded it to the Agency.”
The vehicle was seized following a felony investigation into a street racing incident that occurred on April 25, 2021, in Houston.
After observing the Hellcat driver and another vehicle speeding on I-10, a police officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the Hellcat driver fled from police, sometimes reaching speeds of up to 160 m.p.h., according to Click2Houston. When the pursuit became too dangerous, police backed off but used DPS aircraft to monitor the fleeing driver. Near I-10 and the West Sam Houston Parkway, the car ran out of gas and the driver fled on foot. He was later arrested on a felony evading charges and a misdemeanor weapons charge.
Texas DPS and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office initiated the asset forfeiture process “due to the egregious nature of the offense” and were eventually awarded possession of the Dodge Hellcat.
Texas civil asset forfeiture laws allow police to seize property or cash believed to have been used in the commission of a crime.
The Hellcat has now been outfitted with Texas DPS markings, emergency lights, and a police radio. The vehicle will be used for community education and traffic enforcement.