Viral video of people escaping stolen truck actually several years old, dispatcher says

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BROOKS COUNTY, Texas (WDHN) — A video of at least 18 people escaping a stolen truck during a traffic stop in Brooks County, Texas, might not be as timely as it seemed.

The Brooks County Sheriff’s Office posted the video above on its Facebook page last Friday, saying the incident happened in Encino but not saying when the stop actually occurred.

In the video, the white Ford F-250 comes to a stop on Highway 281 South when a man peers out from the right side of the vehicle. Then, the truck takes off, prompting the driver of the patrol car to set off his siren as he pursued the runaway truck past the median to the ditch on the other side.

That’s when things take a surprise turn as the dashcam video shows around 18 people, most of them men, escaping the truck after being stuffed in there like human anchovies.

Because of its unexpected ending, the video spread across social media like wildfire, getting 196,411 shares and 9.2 million views alone. The video has also appeared on news outlets’ social media, some saying that the stop happened last week because of the date the video was uploaded.

Thing is, the video might not be as fresh as people thought it was. According to Peter Dawson with the Houston Chronicle, a dispatcher with the sheriff’s office said she believed the video was actually taken in 2016, making it several years old.

The dispatcher told the Chronicle that the video was uploaded last Friday to help fill some job openings in the sheriff’s office.

On Feb. 28, the organization posted these job listings on its Facebook page, Dawson wrote. Almost a month later, the office, located in a county less than 70 miles from the Texas-Mexico border, decided it needed to be a little bit more … direct with its job recruiting campaign.

Chron.com reportedly tried to get more answers from the sheriff’s office, but they haven’t gotten a response as of yet.

However, a man named Neal Moynahan made a comment on the sheriff’s office’s post saying that the truck was his and was stolen in October of 2015, two days before the traffic stop. According to him, there were actually 32 people in the truck.

It’s my understanding that there were 32 people in the truck, he told WDHN. Driver, front passenger, 10 laying down in the back where the rear seat had been removed and 20 in the bed of the truck.

The photo included in Moynahan’s comment shows the old license plate on his truck, which appears to match the one in the video.

Even with the timeliness of the video being called into question, it appears that this wasn’t the last time the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office came across a bunch of men packed into the bed of a truck.

The sheriff’s office posted another video (with the actual date this time) of 13 men being found hiding in a Chevrolet 2500. The vehicle was reportedly heading north on FM 430 on Nov. 27, 2018, when it got into a chase with a Brooks County deputy.

Seven escaped while the remaining six were handed over to border patrol.

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