Lawmen catch wanted man after chase, tasing; bonds set at $550,000

Steve Nash steve.nash@brownwoodbulletin.com
Chad Cooper

Chad Cooper missed a court appearance last week on felony charges stemming from a drug investigation and is now jailed in lieu of bonds totaling $550,000.

Deputies, assisted by Brownwood police, chased Cooper through a south Brownwood neighborhood Wednesday afternoon and arrested him, sheriff's officials said Thursday. 

Deputy Brian Lundy ended the 34-year-old Cooper’s flight on foot when Lundy pulled up in a patrol car near where Cooper was running and sent probes from his Taser into Cooper, sheriff’s Capt. Vance Hill and deputy Bill Arp said.

Cooper is jailed on three warrants for failure to appear for possession of a controlled substance, possession a firearm by a felon and engaging in organized activity, and on a new charge of burglary of a habitation, jail records state.

The burglary charge was filed because Cooper allegedly broke into a home on Durham as he fled from lawmen and took clothing “in an attempt to change his appearance,” sheriff’s Hill said.

Cooper was one of 45 defendants named in last year’s Operation Tangled Web drug roundup, Hill said. 

On April 2, Cooper was set for a bench trial before District Judge Steve Ellis on the drug and weapons charges, court records state. Cooper was at the courthouse i that day as Ellis took up matters related to the trial. Ellis recessed court and directed Cooper to return a short time later for the bench trial, but he did not show.

On Wednesday, deputies, assisted by Brownwood police, went to Cooper’s residence in the 2300 block of Elizabeth and breached the door, Hill said. As deputies searched the house, Cooper managed to lift a door in the floor and get in the crawl space underneath the home, which is on a pier and beam foundation.

Cooper exited the crawl space and ran, Hill said. A citizen saw him running and notified a deputy.

Cooper ran across Austin Avenue, and Lundy, still seated in the driver’s seat of his patrol car, hit Cooper with the probes of his Taser, Hill and Arp said.

“I just saw him fall. I thought he tripped,” Arp said. “Once he got tased, he hit the ground. He was done.”