SE Austin chase suspect charged

Published 11:07 am Friday, May 6, 2016

A 27-year-old who led Austin police on a high-speed chase Wednesday in southeast Austin is facing his fourth DWI charge in his third state.



Gilberto Ramirez-Maravilla, 27, of Austin was charged Thursday in Mower County District Court with felony first-degree DWI and felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. He is also charged with misdemeanor open bottle.

Court records show Ramirez-Maravilla was convicted of similar charges of driving or operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Marshall County, Iowa, in 2007, in Dawson County, Nebraska, in 2009, and in Johnson County, Iowa in 2012.

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At about 1:23 a.m. on Wednesday, officers were conducting a traffic stop on the 100 block of Oakland Place Southeast because they saw a 2003 Lincoln Navigator turn west on Oakland from 10th Street Southeast.

The car’s headlight was out and also made a double lane change, according to court records. The Lincoln stopped about one-half block after police initiated the stop.

Officers learned the registered owner — not Ramirez-Maravilla — had an active non-extraditable warrant out of Colorado.

Officers approached the car, which then sped away. They pursued the vehicle, turning southbound on 10th Drive Southeast.

Officers pursued the vehicle and then they turned westbound on Fifth Place Southeast and several other streets until finally turning onto Seventh Avenue Southeast, where his speeds exceeded 70 mph before Ramirez-Maravilla crashed into a house on the 500 block.

Ramirez-Maravilla got out of the car and ran toward the backyard of a house, but officers caught up with him. He was non-compliant and an officer successfully shocked him with a Taser, court records said.

Ramirez-Maravilla was identified with a state of California ID. People inside the house also identified him and said he lived at the residence.

A bottle of tequila was found under the driver’s seat. The Lincoln was towed to the impound lot and was held for forfeiture.

While in the squad car, he told officers he had consumed about “six beers” before he drove. He agreed to provide a breath sample and contacted an attorney. He also said he had three prior DWI convictions in Nebraska and Iowa under an alias, “Joel Avila, 30.”

Gold Cross Ambulance assisted at the scene because the suspect had a nose bleed and hurt his lip when he fell. He was eventually transported to Mower County Jail.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 19.