Man escapes, briefly, following arrest
Still in handcuffs, he fled to greenbelt, undeterred by Taser
An Austin man who escaped in handcuffs after his arrest in Southwest Austin and eluded officials for several hours Wednesday morning is back in custody, a Travis County sheriff ’s office spokesman said.
Todd Michael Zurovetz, 22, was found in South Austin by Sunset Valley police officers shortly before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, about six hours after he escaped, sheriff’s Capt. Art Cardenas said.
Zurovetz had maneuvered his handcuffs from back to front and took off running, Cardenas said.
“He bolted out, and they tried to Taser him,” Cardenas said. “They hit him with a Taser, but it didn’t have an effect.”
The escape triggered an early morning search by the sheriff’s office, an Austin police canine unit and helicopter, and the West Lake Hills and Sunset Valley police departments, Cardenas said.
The incident won’t trigger a formal review, Cardenas said, though deputies involved will be debriefed on the incident to see what improvements, if any, can be made. For now, it appears officers acted appropriately, Cardenas said.
Zurovetz was initially arrested at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday after police received a 911 call about a suspicious person in the 7600 block of Summervale Drive, off FM 1826 near West Slaughter Lane, Cardenas said. Zurovetz was found to have an outstanding warrant for burglary of a vehicle, Cardenas said.
As a deputy was taking Zurovetz to jail, he moved his handcuffed wrists from behind his back forward and tried to kick out the windows of the deputy’s vehicle, Cardenas said.
The deputy pulled over near MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) and Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360), Cardenas said. As another deputy and a Sunset Valley police officer tried to help secure him, Zurovetz took off toward the greenbelt — even after he was hit with a Taser, Cardenas said.
A deputy slipped and hurt his back while chasing Zurovetz, Cardenas said. The deputy was treated at a hospital and released.
At 8:25 a.m., Sunset Valley police arrested Zurovetz about two miles from the point of the escape in the 1800 block of Fort View Road, near Manchaca Road and Ben White Boulevard, Cardenas said. Zurovetz, who had escaped shirtless, was still in handcuffs, Cardenas said.
Cardenas said this isn’t the first run-in deputies have had with Zurovetz.
“We have dealt with him several times,” Cardenas said. “The deputies that work that area have encountered him before.”
Zurovetz was being held in the Travis County Jail on two charges, including a past charge for burglary of a vehicle as well as a charge of escape causing bodily injury, a second-degree felony, according to jail records.
Todd Michael Zurovetz Recaptured about six hours after escape.