HPD officer arrested

January 17, 2008 4:34:56 PM PST
A Houston police officer was arrested and thrown in jail. He's accused of keeping two suspected shoplifters from being arrested. Up until yesterday, Kerry Small had been assigned to HPD's Police Academy. Now he's accused of trying to help someone he knew get out of a bind.

He'd been with the Houston Police Department for more than 20 years, but now the seasoned officer's future as a cop is severely in jeopardy.

"All I know is he has been relieved of duty," said Chief Harold Hurtt of the Houston Police Department.

It happened Saturday at the Macy's in the Greenspoint Mall according to the criminal complaint. Two females, an Alexus Williams along with a juvenile, were detained by store security officers for allegedly shoplifting hundreds of dollars worth of goods.

Sometime after the arrest, Small responded to the store. He was dressed in full uniform when he took custody of the women.

But strangely, the report indicates he did not handcuff the women. Nor had he left an offense report number which was typical is such cases. Stranger yet, witnesses said Small transported the women away in a gray Nissan Altima.

"We believe at this time it's possible he may have known one or both of the suspects," said Captain Bruce Williams of the Houston Police Department.

It turns out the suspects had access to their cell phones while being held at the store. It's believed one of the suspects called Small for help. Small is charged with hindering the apprehension of suspects, arrested by his own fellow officers.

"It's never pleasant, it's never something we want to do because of the badge," Captain Williams said. "We're above that and held to a higher standard."

At Small's home this afternoon no one came to the door when we stopped by. According to the complaint, he has made no effort to report the two females and their whereabouts are still unknown.

Eyewitness News Legal Analyst Joel Androphy says by not cooperating, he could face even more charges.

"By preventing them from being arrested, he's just digging himself a deeper hole," Androphy said.

Officer Small has bonded out of jail. He remains on paid leave until the outcome of an internal investigation. He is due back in court later this month.

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