Police said an officer saw the man, whose name was not released, crash his car on the Gulf Freeway between South Wayside and Griggs at 9 p.m. Sunday and flee from the scene on foot, KPRC-TV, Houston, reported Monday.
The officer gave chase and saw the man jump into an open manhole and refuse to emerge when ordered.
The Houston Police Department said firefighters checked the pipe for noxious gases before members of the police dive team went in and retrieved the suspect.
Police said the man, who was asking for his wife when he was brought back to the surface, may have been intoxicated. He was placed under arrest and taken away in an ambulance.