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Multi-county chase that ended peacefully a possible ‘suicide-by-cop’ attempt

Ryan Anthony Lopez

Ryan Lopez, 38, of Pleasanton was arrested in Lampasas after leading law enforcement on a dangerous, high-speed chase across four counties, including Burnet and Llano counties, on June 23. Burnet County Jail photo

A dangerous, high-speed chase took law enforcement across Mason, Llano, Burnet, and Lampasas counties on Sunday, June 23, in what might have been a “suicide-by-cop” attempt, according to officials. The driver reportedly tried to run officers off of the road several times and lied about having a child in the vehicle with him.

Ryan Anthony Lopez, 38, of Pleasanton was arrested peacefully after Lampasas County Sheriff Jesus “Jess” Ramos convinced him to exit his stopped vehicle. No one was hurt in the ordeal, officials said.

Lopez is currently being held in Burnet County Jail and is charged with four felonies: two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and two counts of evading arrest with a vehicle. He was also charged with a Class A misdemeanor for carrying a weapon without a license. 

“It is highly possible Lopez was considering a ‘Suicide by Cop’ result,” reads a media release from the Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office. “Sheriff Ramos was very appreciative of all law enforcement agencies’ assistance, and he credits the positive outcome and (peacefulness) of this dangerous incident to his patience and experience in dealing with dangerous persons and situations throughout his career.”

Lopez reportedly tried to run officers off of the road and strike their vehicles several times during the chase. He told officers over the phone that he was armed and had a child in the car with him. He demanded the media come to the scene. 

The pursuit ended on U.S. 281 near Putters and Gutters Fun Center in Lampasas when Lopez’s vehicle ran off of the road, the tires of his 2018 Toyota SUV having been destroyed by spike strips laid out by law enforcement.

Armed officers surrounded Lopez on the side of the highway while Sheriff Ramos built a rapport with him over the phone and learned he had no child with him. He did have a dog and an unloaded firearm in the vehicle. 

According to the Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office media release, Lopez told Ramos that he was “tired of being harassed” by the police and that the CIA was involved in the harassment.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers began the pursuit of Lopez on Texas 29 in Mason County on Sunday morning. He led troopers into Llano County, reportedly reaching speeds of 110-150 mph. 

Lopez passed through the city of Llano and reportedly tried to run Llano County Sheriff’s Office deputies off of the road.

The pursuit continued on Texas 29, passing through Buchanan Dam. Burnet County Sheriff’s Office deputies joined the chase and successfully spiked Lopez’s tires as he approached the city of Burnet.

Lopez again reportedly tried to run officers off of the road near Burnet and later as he approached Lampasas. His tires began to fall apart as he drove north along U.S. 281 and his speed steadily dropped. 

Another successful spiking destroyed the remaining tires on Lopez’s vehicle just outside of Lampasas, bringing him to a stop.

Aggravated assault of a public servant is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison and $10,000 in fines. Evading arrest by motor vehicle is a third-degree felony that comes with two to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The unlicensed carry of a weapon is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to a year in county jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.

dakota@thepicayune.com