Sex Offender Leads Cops on Low-Speed RV Chase, Escapes

Stephen Houk refused to pull over for hours, is believed to be armed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2018 7:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – A sex offender believed to be armed escaped police after leading them on a 100-mile chase in an RV with bicycles strapped to the back, per the AP. It certainly wasn't the fastest escape ever. Authorities say 46-year-old Stephen Houk refused to pull over in Los Angeles around 3pm Tuesday. He then led California Highway Patrol officers over freeways for hours, heading north with his two young children at speeds of about 55mph, before his motor home got stuck in an almond orchard north of Bakersfield, reports the Los Angeles Times. As officers were deciding how to proceed through dust and heavy brush while keeping an eye on a heat signature in the driver's seat, Houk is believed to have slid out an RV door hidden from view.

Houk's 3-year-old son, who'd been in the driver's seat, then emerged from the RV, telling police his father had left him and his 11-month-old sister behind, police say. "Turns out (the heat signature) was actually the little boy," says a CHP rep. The two children, unharmed, were reunited with their mother, who police say had been on the phone with Houk as he drove, trying to convince him to pull over. NBC Los Angeles reports there had been an earlier dispute between the couple, with police receiving a call mentioning "criminal threats." Houk is now wanted for evading, child abduction, child endangerment, and weapons violations. A registered sex offender in Oregon, Houk was previously convicted of sex with a child under 14. A sheriff's deputy says the circumstances of that case are "too egregious to discuss," per NBC.

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