LUFKIN, TX — Meet Toscha Sponsler — and then look out!
In response to the relatively minor infraction of suspected shoplifting at an Ulta beauty store, Lufkin Police Department officers picked up Sponsler. The responders handcuffed the 33-year-old woman and placed her in the back of a patrol vehicle, secured by a seatbelt.
From there, footage shot by a camera mounted inside the SUV depicts Sponsler removing the seatbelt, wiggling out of the cuffs, mumbling, and jumping into the front seat. She then starts the cruiser and takes off at insane speed!
For the next 23 minutes, Sponsler led authorities on a 100 mile per hour chase that included three near head-on collisions. According to the Lufkin Police:
“Sponsler nearly went head on with two Lufkin officers and a Huntington constable during the pursuit. Throughout the chase, officers could see her reaching for the officer’s shotgun which was mechanically locked to the vehicle.”
Eventually, police drivers managed to knock Sponsler off the road and take her back into custody.
Sponsler is being held at the Angelina County Jail on $18,000 bond and faces charges that include “escape causing serious bodily injury/threat of a deadly weapon, aggravated assault against a public servant, possession of a controlled substance, evading arrest with a vehicle with a previous conviction, and unauthorized use of a vehicle.”Perhaps the definitive statement on the entire episode comes from a police officer who can be heard on a body camera video shot during the escape. As the patrolman watches Sponsler speed off, he states simply: “God dang!”
Main photos: Toscha Sponsler mug shot [Angelina County Jail]; Lufkin Police Department/YouTube video [screenshot]