Police Pursuit of One for an Alleged Stolen Vehicle Ends with Two Suspects

By Armando Alonzo

SACRAMENTO – On May 22, 2019, defendant Tyrell Cousins and a woman surrendered to police officers after being chased for an allegedly stolen vehicle.

When Cousins was allegedly first fleeing from the police, he had dived out of a stolen Chevy as it moved at around 10 miles per hour. Police chased him on foot after he was seen jumping a fence alone into a nearby apartment complex.

Tyrell Cousins is now facing seven total charges: one felony count for willfully evading and driving in traffic the wrong way, a second for also willfully evading a pursuing police officer, a third for vehicle theft and driving a car valued at more than $950, fourth for “receiving stolen property,” the fifth for possession of burglary tools, another count for unlawfully resisting or delaying Sacramento police officers, and, lastly, a count for trespassing,

Brian Walker, a police officer who has served for Sacramento’s police department for 15 years now, testified at the preliminary hearing as the on-duty officer who was first in pursuit of Cousins.

That evening of May 22, Walker had responded to a pod hit, which is a notification that occurs when a camera pod detects the license plate of a reportedly stolen vehicle. Walker found the stolen Chevy soon after and followed it as it drove throughout south Sacramento. The car reportedly drove on streets like Luther Drive at speeds between 50 to 75 mph in areas that had speed limits of 25 miles per hour. It was also driving with its lights off, and at one point seemed to accidentally swerve into a westbound lane going against traffic.

Walker remembered following the Chevy until it slowed to a speed of about 10 mph, in which the in-custody defendant allegedly then dived out. The vehicle collided with an apartment complex metal fence, of which the defendant climbed over to escape. Policemen arrived on the scene and set a perimeter around the complex.

A resident there who asked to remain anonymous motioned to Officer Walker and said that a man that was described to be also a black man in a grey sweater tried to offer him $100 in exchange for hiding him.

The resident also apparently heard a nearby door being broken into. Officers who investigated the noise found an apartment door with damages and signs of forced entry.

After receiving permission from that apartment’s official resident, officers brought canines and called announcements to the suspect inside. Cousins then surrendered along with a woman, Miyaka Oliphant, who police officers do not recall seeing during the pursuit.

A second officer, Andrew Cunningham, came to the hearing as a witness on Wednesday. He had been a part of the perimeter around the complex and had also contacted the registered owner of the stolen Chevy, T. W. She had confirmed that that vehicle was indeed hers. After seeing the defendant, she also confirmed that she did not know him and he definitely should not have been driving it.

After some cross-examination from the defendant’s public defender Paul Gomez, the witnesses only confirmed that the person they saw before them in the virtual court was the same person they saw that evening. Walker had also reported that the defendant had faced him when his patrol car’s light was on, illuminating his face for the policeman to see.

After neither party had further evidence to submit, Gomez argued that the third felony count should be reduced to a misdemeanor due to there being no evidence that the car was worth $950 or more at the time.

The district attorney’s representative Gregory Hayes argued that the law still applied because the count was based on the condition that the vehicle was stolen. After a brief discussion and deliberation, Judge Arguelle decided to strike the language of “and taking a” and “value of $950 or more” in order to charge Cousins instead with unlawful driving of a stolen vehicle belonging to another individual.

The judge motioned to continue the case to a trial due to these witness testimonies and the fact that the defendant had a few other prior allegations. Corona agreed to represent Cousins for counsel. For a formal arraignment, not guilty pleas were entered.

The trial was set to continue on June 25, 2020, 1:35 pm, set in Department 62.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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