Houston Police Officer Drowns in Patrol Car
UPDATE: The officer was later identified as Sergeant Steve Perez, 60, a 34-year veteran of the force whose body was found after apparently drowning while attempting to get to work on Sunday, Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters.
Acevedo said Perez’s family had urged him not to leave the house because of the dangerous flooding, but the officer told them, “We have work to do.”
A police officer in Houston reportedly drowned in his patrol car amid widespread flooding, according to local reports.
The officer was not identified in local media reports as his family has yet to be notified, reported the Houston Chronicle. The flooding was triggered by Hurricane Harvey, which is now a tropical storm.
The officer was in his patrol car driving back to work Sunday when he got trapped in high water at around Interstate 45 and Hardy Toll Road, the paper reported.
Search-and-rescue crews are in the process of recovering his body.
“He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn,” one high-ranking official told the Chronicle. The officer, after getting stuck in the water, tried to get out but was not able to do so.
The reports come after a family of six was said to have drowned in Harvey’s floodwaters.
“Sam calls my husband and tells him, ‘they’re gone,'” a relative of the family, Virginia Saldivar, told The Associated Press. “That’s when my husband dropped the phone and started screaming.”
Two grandparents and six children under the age of 16 drowned. The victims were identified as Manuel Saldivar, 84, his wife Belia, 81; Daisy Saldivar, 6; Xavier Saldivar, 8; Dominic Saldivar, 14; and Devy Saldivar, 16.
“I’m just hoping we find the bodies,” Saldivar told Fox News.
It is believed that 15 people have died during Hurricane Harvey and the ensuing floods.