Editor: Shannon Cottongame
January 12, 2022
A man accused of committing a violent carjacking and other crimes in Itasca last week has been captured after he initially evaded authorities by leaving a Waco hospital.
The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Casey Phillips, was arrested at his family’s home between Hubbard and Dawson on State Highway 31 at approximately 11 a.m. Thursday, January 6, according to Itasca police.
The incident began Tuesday, January 4, when Phillips reportedly shot at another vehicle during a road rage incident in Burleson before abandoning that vehicle, which belonged to his girlfriend, along Interstate 35 in Itasca and continuing on foot into the city.
Once there, authorities said that he broke a window and briefly entered an unoccupied 18-wheeler before exiting that vehicle and approaching a mother and her 17-year-old daughter who were in line at the Sonic drive-thru in Itasca.
Phillips is accused of ordering the pair out of the vehicle with a knife and attempting to stab the teenager. The knife lacerated her hand instead.
“In an act of incredible heroism, an 18-year-old Sonic employee ran out of the Sonic, putting himself in harm’s way, and was able to punch Phillips in the head multiple times,” Itasca police reported. “This brave action dislodged the knife from Phillips’ possession and it fell to the ground.”
Phillips then managed to gain control of the vehicle with the mother and daughter still in the front seat.
Police said that the mother attempted to open the passenger door and pull her daughter out to safety, but she fell out of the car and was dragged a short distance. The teenager was then able to jump out of the vehicle.
Itasca Police Department Lieutenant William T. Fausnacht said that both victims sustained injuries during their escape. “Both are going to recover and have been released from the hospital,” he said. “Both are in good spirits.”
Witnesses followed the vehicle and provided information to dispatchers as Phillips traveled on State Highway 67 out of town.
Phillips reportedly crashed and rolled the vehicle east of Itasca and was taken into custody when an Itasca officer and Hill County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived on scene.
Authorities reported that a miscommunication led to Phillips being transported to a Baylor Scott & White – Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco when local authorities believed he was being admitted to Hill Regional Hospital.
“This led to Phillips being transported to a hospital where no officers were located or expecting him,” Itasca Police explained in a statement. “Phillips was able to leave the hospital against medical advisement as the chain of custody was broken.”
Itasca Police then contacted the U.S. Marshals and the Texas Rangers due to the nature of the crimes.
Due to the suspect’s family living in the Hubbard area, authorities warned those in Hubbard to be on the lookout for the suspect. In response to the warning, Hubbard Independent School District implemented soft lock down procedures.
The Hubbard Police Department also investigated and generated information utilized by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. The agencies executed a search and ultimately arrested Phillips Thursday morning.
Itasca Police said that Phillips, who sustained injuries in the crash, was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and cleared for jail. He was booked into the Hill County Law Enforcement center at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, January 6.
He is facing charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a weapon and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.