KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
March 10, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Deputies with Constable Ted Heap’s Office arrested a man accused of opening fire on a tow truck driver in a road rage incident that occurred on Westheimer Parkway last week. As such cases continue in the local area, authorities offer tips to avoid being a victim.
Enraged Driver Confronted, Fired Several Shots at Tow Truck
On March 1, 2022 a driver and a truck driver had an altercation at the 20600 block of Westheimer Parkway. It occurred in the evening when both drivers pulled into a gas station. The driver pulled a gun and fired several shots at the tow truck as it tried to flee the scene.
Everrett Walla, 40, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was taken to the Harris County Jail and released on bond by Judge Amy Martin.
Local Authorities Weigh in on Ongoing Issue
Sgt. Rick Ellis with Constable Precinct 5 says that these types of crimes are series and can quickly escalate.
“Drivers need to be aware of who is around them and if you need to suddenly change lanes you will hurt people’s feelings,” says Sgt. Ellis, who says that moving over rather than quickly changing lanes is the better option.
It’s impossible to know how far another driver is willing to take an altercation. “Don’t go right home if you have a problem,” says Sgt. Ellis. “You can have a problem with another driver and then we’ve had cases of them following people to their homes and confronting them there,” says Ellis.
He says that if you feel you are being followed to drive around and not go home. Drivers should call authorities for help.
Harris County Constable Ted Heap offers tips to stay safe and not be road rage victim.
• If you encounter an aggressive driver, don’t respond.
• Avoid eye contact.
• Don’t respond to aggression with aggression.
• Avoid offensive hand gestures.
• Don’t honk your horn.
• If you’re being followed or if an enraged driver points a gun at you, call 911 and provide a detailed description of the vehicle and the driver.
Sgt. Ellis adds that if you can get the plate description of an enraged driver to do so safely.
“Practice good driving etiquette such using your blinker,” says Sgt. Ellis. “Don’t be in a hurry and always remain aware and alert.”
Why is road rage such a problem? According to Sgt. Ellis an increase in cell phone use while driving is a big contributor as is distracts drivers.
Tow Truck Driver Wasn't Harmed
Fortunately, the most recent Katy road rage incident that resulted in a shooting ended with no injuries.
The suspect, Walla, followed the fleeing tow truck for approximately 4 miles to the 900 block of South Mason Road, where Precinct 5 deputies were able to safely stop the suspect's vehicle.
The tow truck had two bullet holes, but the driver was unharmed.
“Katy is a unique area within the I-10 corridor,” says Sgt. Ellis. “It brings in all kinds of people often in a rush to get to their destination.”