By RAY QUIROGA
Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS
Shoppers and employees at the local Walmart store got more than just after Thanksgiving bargains earlier this week when a South Padre Island man allegedly exposed himself in the middle of the store and ultimately led police on an approximate 100 mile-per-hour chase across the Queen Isabella Causeway.
Walter Thomas Ellison, age 69, of South Padre Island, was apprehended by Port Isabel police and booked on one charge of indecent exposure, one charge of driving while intoxicated, one charge of causing an accident involving damage and possession of marijuana – each a Class B Misdemeanor.
According to the Port Isabel Police Department, the incident took place on Nov. 27 at approximately 8 a.m. That’s when Officer David Martinez was dispatched to the Walmart store located at 1401 West Hwy. 100 in reference to what police, at the time, believed to be only an accident involving two vehicles. According to Port Isabel Chief of Police Gualberto “Wally” Gonzales, dispatch received a call from a woman who said her vehicle was struck by a two-door red Mercedes-Benz as she pulled into the Walmart parking lot. The driver of the Mercedes, later identified as Ellison, left the scene.
According to the police report, within minutes of receiving the initial call, police received a second call from the store advising them of a male subject allegedly exposing himself inside the premises. Port Isabel Police Officer Cesar Garcia assessed that the individual allegedly exposing himself and the driver of the red Mercedes were one in the same and advanced eastbound toward the causeway to assist officer Martinez, who was already in pursuit of the suspect.
According to the report, Ellison stopped his vehicle at the South Padre Island turnaround located at the foot of the bridge and was then arrested by Officer Martinez. A few moments later, Ellison was transported to the Port Isabel City Jail, where he was booked without incident.
According to Chief Gonzales, the entire episode began when Ellison allegedly soiled his shorts and proceeded to drop them in the middle of the Walmart men’s department in exchange for a pair off the rack, exposing himself in the processes. When approached by a store employee, Ellison fled, jumped into his car, and allegedly struck the victim’s car as he left the parking lot.
According to the police chief, Ellison was cited for a DWI in 2007. The suspension on his Texas Driver’s License was lifted in 2010.
Read this story in the Nov. 29 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.