By Paul Thompson
August 17, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A local man was taken into custody on Tuesday, August 16 after a carjacking in the Northeast led to a high-speed pursuit.
Eduardo I. Escobar, 25, faces charges of Robbery in the 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action in the theft of a 1998 Honda Civic just before 2:00 p.m. on the afternoon on August 16. According to the Probable Cause statement released on Wednesday, August 17, the two victims – women aged 63 and 91, respectively – were initially confronted by Escobar when they pulled into a Walgreen’s parking lot in the 5400 block of Independence Avenue.
After parking the vehicle, Escobar approached the driver’s side door and demanded that the two victims exit the car. The younger of the two women was driving the car, and she began struggling with Escobar over the driver’s side door. Eventually, Escobar allegedly produced a black handgun and once again demanded that the women get back. He then jumped into the vehicle with the 91-year-old passenger still in the car. Escobar pulled out of the parking spot and made contact with another vehicle in the lot. When the passenger asked if he was stealing her car, Escobar allegedly replied in the affirmative, reached over to open the passenger door, and pushed her out of the vehicle, causing her to fall onto the side of the road. The victim suffered a bruised tailbone and buttocks as a result of the fall.
Because one of the women still had an iPhone in the car, officers were able to contact her son and subsequently track the vehicle using the ‘Find my iPhone’ app. The app showed that the phone was stationary at roughly 50th Terr. and N. Park. The phone app then needed to be manually updated, causing the location to jump to 68th Terr. and N. Wayne. By tracking the phone’s movement through the application, officers were eventually able to visually locate the vehicle and take over the search.
Officers found the vehicle at the intersection of NE 81st St. and N. Oak Tfwy at around 2:30 p.m. It was being driven, according to the Probable Cause statement, by a Hispanic male wearing a blue hat and a white shirt. The officers began to follow the vehicle. The suspect followed traffic rules for a short time, but swerved into oncoming traffic once he approached MO 152 Hwy. The tailing officers turned on their emergency lights and began a pursuit. Escobar then got onto MO 152 Hwy and began driving erratically, ultimately reaching speeds of roughly 100 miles per hour during the chase.
Escobar allegedly got off the highway at Green Hills Rd., traveling southbound at high speeds and narrowly missing oncoming motorists. Escobar approached a red light the intersection at NW Barry Rd., but suddenly slammed on the brakes and pulled a u-turn to avoid a large tractor-trailer traveling westbound through the green light. Heading west on MO 152 Hwy, Escobar swerved near the Ambassador Dr. intersection to avoid hitting stop sticks that had been deployed. He would go on to exit at NW Hampton Rd., still traveling at dangerous speeds.
Escobar then blew through two roundabouts, failing to yield to approaching vehicles, and continued westbound on NW Brink Meyers Rd. He lost control while making a left-hand curve of the road, and began driving up a hill towards a residence on the right side of the street. Escobar then wrecked the vehicle into a grassy berm near the residence, and proceeded to flee on foot. Officers pursued and successfully subdued the suspect. A search of Escobar’s person revealed a live .223 bullet in his front right pocket. A computer check of Escobar’s prior history revealed that he was a felon, having been convicted of 1st Degree assault in January of 2010.
Although the two women were unable to successfully identify Escobar, he ultimately agreed to waive his Miranda rights and provided a statement to authorities. In that statement, Escobar admitted to stealing the vehicle, but denied using a gun during the robbery or pushing the 91-year-old woman out of the vehicle. Regarding the bullet found in his pants, Escobar stated that they were not his pants and that he didn’t know the bullet was in there.
Prosecutors have requested a $75,000 cash bond in the case.