A 23-year-old Bertram man faces multiple felony charges after leading Burnet County sheriff’s deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers on a chase in three different stolen vehicles.
At about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, April 25, deputies and a state trooper responded to the 14000 block of County Road 304 between Burnet and Bertram following a report of a stolen black Jeep. When law enforcement arrived, the suspect had apparently abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.
Law enforcement identified the man as Richard Spradling.
About an hour after the initial call, a Burnet County deputy reported seeing the suspect in a white Chevy Tahoe westbound on Texas 29. The deputy, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, was in pursuit.
The suspect turned north on CR 252, where he crashed through a fence onto a private ranch to evade deputies. Deputies were able to access the property and follow the vehicle tracks.
When deputies located the Tahoe, it was crashed into a tree. The suspect had apparently fled on foot. A state trooper set up on CR 200 north of where the vehicle was located.
The Burnet Police Department K-9 unit arrived at the ranch and began assisting deputies in the search.
At about 9:30 a.m., a caller contacted Burnet County Sheriff’s Office dispatch to report a man had stolen a maroon Chevrolet Traverse SUV from a property in the 1500 block of Shady Glenn Ranch Road just off CR 200.
The suspect headed to CR 200 and began traveling west. The trooper was traveling east on CR 200 when he spotted the stolen vehicle headed in his direction. According to an affidavit, the trooper moved his patrol vehicle — with emergency lights and siren on — to the middle of the road to get the suspect to stop.
“When I realized this (stolen) vehicle was not going to stop, I moved to the right, off the roadway to avoid a crash with the suspect vehicle,” the trooper wrote in the arrest affidavit. “This vehicle came within a few feet of crashing into me.”
The trooper turned around and began pursuing the stolen vehicle but lost sight of it on CR 200. However, the trooper came upon another vehicle at the intersection of CR 200 and Fox Run Road, and that driver said the suspect had turned on Fox Run Road.
The trooper caught sight of the stolen Traverse and began pursuing it again, but he backed off due to the dust coming off the road. The trooper was again able to locate the stolen vehicle, but the suspect sped up. The pursuit ended when the suspect crashed into a concrete culvert in the 900 block of Fox Run Road.
The trooper and a Burnet police officer caught up with the suspect, who had exited the vehicle from the front-passenger door. He was taken into custody with no further incident.
After a medical evaluation, Spradling was booked into the Burnet County Jail on three counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle, three counts of evading arrest, and one count of aggravated assault against a public servant.
He is also being held on a parole violation. According to court records, Spradling was released from prison on Feb. 23 after serving time for a 2019 felony conviction on deadly conduct-discharge of a firearm.
Anyone with information regarding the April 25 incident is asked to contact the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office at 512-756-8080.