Waco: Fugitive Who Led Police On Chase Pleads Guilty

A 36-year-old fugitive who led police on a high-speed chase that ended when his motorcycle struck a law enforcement officer’s vehicle pleaded guilty to a list of charges Thursday.

The chase ended when the fugitive's motorcycle struck a law enforcement officer's car. (File)

WACO (July 11, 2013)--Joseph Labarbera, Jr., 36, who was arrested in June 2012 after leading authorities on a high-speed chase on his motorcycle from Hewitt up Bagby Avenue to Loop 340 in Waco, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant, one count of evading arrest or detention in a vehicle and one count of aggravated assault by occlusion.

Under the terms of a plea deal he received three concurrent 40-year sentences.

“This plea to 40 years ensures that McLennan County citizens will be safe from this violent, habitual criminal for a very long time,” Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Massey said.

Labarbera fled on a motorcycle as Hewitt police officers and U.S. marshals were serving an arrest warrant at a home at 541 North Old Hewitt.

The ensuing chase, which police said reached speeds as high as 90 miles per hour, ended abruptly when the motorcycle struck a U.S. marshal's vehicle on the Bagby Avenue bridge over Loop 340 as Labarbera attempted to avoid another vehicle.

Authorities said the man got up, pulled out a knife and threatened officers, who responded by bumping him with a car and then shooting him with a stun gun.

Labarbera was taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center and then was jailed after he was treated for minor injuries and released.

He was originally wanted in connection with an attack on his father, police said.


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