A Cumby man led police on a six-hour manhunt on Tuesday through Hopkins and Hunt counties before finally being arrested, according to police reports.
At approximately 11:47 a.m., Hopkins County Sheriff’s Investigators located Joshua Terry Ford, 27, of Cumby, driving a white Hyundai SUV. As Ford had an outstanding warrant for felony abandonment or endangerment for criminal child negligence, deputies attempted to pull Ford over, reports said.
At that point, Ford began to flee, reports said. The chase reached speeds of 65 miles per hour, traveling down County Road 4732 and Farm Road 275, continuing east and pulling into a pasture.
HCSO Investigator Russell allegedly exited his vehicle in the pasture and commanded Ford to exit as well, only for a female in the vehicle to tell Russell that Ford had “jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the woods.”
“The male suspect had jumped from the vehicle while using the cover of dust from the rock road,” the report said. Ford fled from the location running west, and what continued was a six-hour manhunt to bring Ford into custody.
Approximately one hour into the manhunt Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 officers were brought in to assist. Department of Public Safety had helicopters in the area, and Cumby ISD went into “soft lockdown” to protect their students, according to the school. Persons involved in the incident confirmed the location, direction of travel, and the fact that he was unarmed, HCSO said.
During this process Investigators with the assistance of K9s, Helicopters, and other confidential sources were able to track Ford’s escape efforts, HCSO said. Ford continued west along creeks and heavily wooded areas away from populated areas. Ford had a phone in his possession and even spoke to investigators via phone while fleeing, HCSO stated.
In the end, Ford traveled approximately 4 linear miles, although HCSO estimates that the actual path Ford traveled using creeks and away from houses was much further. Ford was located near the Maloy Landfill in Campbell, beneath a tree. Deputies also allegedly located approximately three grams of methamphetamine Ford had discarded from his person while fleeing.
Ford was booked into HCSO at 6:13 p.m. on charges of evading arrest with a vehicle, tampering with evidence with intent to impair and the outstanding warrant of felony abandon/ endanger a child criminal negligence. His bond has been denied, according to records.
Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office extends their thanks to agencies that assisted in the apprehension of Ford. HCSO stated they intend to work closely with community members, including schools, and will now implement a program known locally as “Joshua Alert” to notify schools if there has been any threat to their establishment or students.