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08-29-06, 12:44 PM #1
Car crash kills man trying to flee from police
DURHAM -- A Durham man was killed Monday morning while trying to get away from police in his car, according to police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.
Jorge Perez Hernandez, 27, of 311 South Lasalle St., was driving a with a revoked license when a Durham police officer spotted him driving erratically on Avondale Drive around 2:15 a.m., Michael said.
The officer attempted to stop Hernandez's vehicle, a Dodge Neon, but it ran a red light and sped off, she said.
Abiding by the department's chase policy, which directs officers to only engage in vehicle chases when the vehicle's occupants are suspected of felony crimes, the officer stopped at the light.
Several minutes later, Michael said, the same officer found the Neon wrecked against a utility pole in the 200 block of West Trinity Avenue.
According to Michael, traffic investigators believe the Neon was going too fast "to negotiate the curve" at the traffic circle at Trinity and Glendale avenues.
The Neon struck two traffic signs and sideswiped a utility pole as it slid across the traffic circle. The car was moving sideways when it struck a second utility pole, snapping it in half, Michael said.
Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Two other occupants of the Neon, David Lopez-Jimenez, 23, and Jose De Olguin-Rodriquez, 35, were in stable condition Monday afternoon at Duke University Hospital.
None of the men were wanted by police for outstanding warrants, Michael said.
Hernandez had a short criminal history, including being found guilty for hit and run and driving while impaired, according to court records.
Officers were looking into the possibility that the crash was alcohol-related, Michael said.
I'm really not a fan of modified chase policies. We have a big problem with people fleeing in Durham. It gets published in the paper enough that the general public knows we only chase for serious felonies. Any semi intelligent criminal can figure out that if you haven't done anything serious, you might as well push it and get away.
I don't necessarily agree that every violation should warrant a pursuit. That's where supervisors, along with the pursuing officer, should be attentive to the existing conditions and weigh the nature of the charges. When you create a blanket chase policy, you can end up creating more problems than solutions. When an innocent bystandard is injured or killed because an idiot in a stolen car crashes into someone while a police officer has to sit by and watch, it really makes you re think the whole "Protect and Serve" motto. I'm waiting for a department to get sued because a judge feels that a chase policy constitutes a failure to act.
08-29-06, 12:50 PM #2
At least he didn't kill a potentially innocent passenger, that's one good thing.
08-29-06, 12:54 PM #3Originally Posted by Virginian
True. It didn't happen this time.
08-29-06, 01:19 PM #4GrasshopperVerified LEO
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Good riddance. I hate to be like that, but I have no sympathy for the dead guy or the idiots riding with him.And Shepards we shall be,
for thee, My Lord, for thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls will it ever be.
In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.
08-29-06, 02:18 PM #5Originally Posted by conalabu
I agree. He could have stopped and got a ticket. Instead, He chose to run and got killed. His choice, not ours.
08-29-06, 03:39 PM #6
I think the pursuit thing is kind of cyclical. The less we pursue the more people will run. Eventually the public expectation will change when enough innocent people or criminals die. Then we'll be expected to chase anyone for anything. And again people will die and we'll be right back to where we are now.I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them.
08-29-06, 04:12 PM #7
My question is this; How many times has an officer tryed to stop a subject for a minor traffic violation. That person fled and the officer gave chase, eventually stopping the guy to find a major felony?
ie; in NC just a few years ago a Highway Patrol officer on I-95 south saw a guy weaving in and out of traffic and speeding. He attempts a stop and the guys flees. After a short chase the guy wrecks in the median and the Patrolman finds the guys wife murdered in the back seat. He had killed her at home in Virginia and was taking her god knows where.
There are many many of these stories this is why in the Academy we now teach "Known risk stops (Felonies)" and "Unknown risk stops (Misd.)" You might be stopping for running a stop sign, but you really don't know who or what your dealing with. A felont stop you know who and what your dealing with.
The supreme court has said an officer cant be sued for negligence except for something along the wording of "severe gross negligence". When do you think this would come into play? When you dont chase for erratic driving and they kill a family two miles later on theri own? When you don't chase and it turns out to be a serial killer?
Just thinking out loud"An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!
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08-30-06, 04:19 AM #8
I'm with Dawg on that. You don't know why they run until they are caught. Most of my best arrests came from just thinking a car 'didn't look right' and it taking off when I tried to stop them. An IRA cell, in London one night duty was caught after a longish chase, because of a broken brake light. A boot (trunk to you colonials) full of bomb making equipment and several Kalashnikovs, as well as 3 Terrorists off the streets.To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.
I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!
It's not until you look at an Ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day, that you realise just how often they burst into flames for no reason!
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