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Suspect Flees Houston Cops, Dies in Freeway Fall


A suspected arsonist was killed Tuesday when he jumped from a freeway overpass, police said.

Houston firefighters battled flames at an apartment complex on Bateswood Drive near Perthshire Road about 11:50 p.m.

Detectives said a fire was started in a pickup truck filled with carpet. The flames destroyed eight vehicles under a car port, and the fire spread to several apartments.

Arson investigators said they knew who set the fire, and they had been keeping him under surveillance for quite some time.

The man fled the scene after fire crews arrived, officials said. The fire crews called for backup.

"Our officers saw the suspect vehicle in a business parking lot near Beechnut and the tollway," Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon said. "The officer activated the lights and siren."

Officials said the man led police on a chase with speeds that reached about 80 mph.

Detectives said the chase ended on the freeway connector ramp from the Sam Houston Parkway to the Southwest Freeway.

Police said the man got out of the car and jumped off the ramp. Detectives said they think he was trying to jump to a ramp underneath it, but missed.

The man died in the 70-foot fall, investigators said. His name has not been released.

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