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GREENWOOD, La. – A Webster Parish prisoner transport van that was leading authorities on a high-speed chase Friday morning was stopped in its tracks on Interstate 20 just a mile from the Louisiana–Texas stateline.

Rosendo Zapata

Rosendo Zapata

Sheriff Jason Parker said 49-year-old Rosendo Zapata of Mooringsport, a work release inmate from Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center (BDCC), left a work detail and stole the van. 

Louisiana State Police and Webster Parish sheriff’s deputies along with Bossier City police and Caddo Parish sheriff’s deputies were among law enforcement involved in the pursuit which reached speeds of over 100 mph.

The inmate led authorities from Webster Parish through Bossier City and Shreveport before the chase came to an end. Caddo deputies used a spike strip to stop the vehicle just before it reached Texas.

No one was injured and no accidents were reported during the chase.

The inmate was taken into custody by state police.

BDCC was placed on lockdown as soon as the van theft was noticed. Jailers conducted a head count to make sure no other inmates were missing, Parker said. 

Zapata was assigned to a work crew detail on the Camp Minden grounds where BDCC is located. He left a supervised work area and drove away in the van. 

The supervisor immediately notified Webster deputies on patrol, who caught up with Zapata shortly after he left the facility near I-20. Deputies began their pursuit before being assisted by the other law enforcement agencies.

Webster Van fire

State police booked Zapata on charge of aggravated flight from an officer aggravated flight from a police officer, a felony, and illegal possession of stolen things.

Additional charges pending, Parker said. 

“I appreciate the quick response of our team and the assistance of the Caddo and Bossier sheriff’s offices and Louisiana State Police. I also express my appreciation to the citizens on the highway for their cooperation as our emergency vehicles traveled by in pursuit of the offender. We were able to safely apprehend the offender while protecting other drivers on the road,” Parker said. 

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