Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Houston Police Officer Drowns in Patrol Car During Harvey Response

Houston Police Officer Drowns in Patrol Car During Harvey Response

On Sunday, Houston police sergeant Steve Perez drowned in his vehicle en route to work - as he was on his way to assist during the storm.

A veteran Houston police officer drowned Sunday after he became trapped in floodwaters, officials confirmed Tuesday at an emotional news conference.

"Unfortunately in the darkness, Sgt. Perez drove into an underpass that's about 16.5 feet, drove into the water and he died in a flood, in a drowning-type event", Acevedo said. "Sgt. Perez lost his life because he tried to make it happen, he tried to get at his post ..."

On Monday morning, Perez's supervisors noticed he did not attend roll call and, after contacting his family, launched a search, Acevedo said.

Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, insisted on reporting for duty early Sunday, despite his wife's pleas that he stay home given the unsafe conditions outside.

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Perez was on his way to work when he hit high water.

The search team determined his probable path and narrowed down his last location to the Hardy Toll Road in Houston, Acevedo said. "We utilized other investigative techniques to try to locate him", said Acevedo. The family has yet to be notified. "I've only been here nine months and we've got, you know, 6,500 employees and I knew who Steve Perez was, because he was a sweet, gentle public servant".

Added the chief: "He spent close to 2.5 hours because he has that in his DNA".

"Today, I will simply say that our hearts are saddened. If it's turn to go, she said, this is the way he would want to go".

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