Tomball Police Department captain faces questions over hit-and-run crash

He was a passenger in an August hit-and-run that seriously injured a HCSO lieutenant. Now his boss is coming to his defense
January 13, 2014 8:15:59 PM PST
A Tomball police officer is facing tough questions after documents reveal the officer was involved in a hit-and-run accident that injured a Harris County deputy.

The Tomball police chief is supporting his captain. He believe he's done nothing wrong.

The unmarked crushed patrol car sits outside the Harris County Sheriff's Office District 5 station. It's too banged up to drive, and the lieutenant who was behind the wheel five months ago is still out injured. Now authorities say a Tomball police captain is in the clear even though he was a passenger in the truck that investigators say crashed into the deputy's car and took off.

"The truck fled the scene. All we have right now is that it's a pickup truck," authorities said at the time of the August wreck.

Deputies were on the lookout for the truck that rear-ended the lieutenant's car during a high-speed chase, forcing it into a concrete wall and leaving the officer seriously injured. Paint samples now confirm the truck was Oscar Sanchez's. He was driving, and according to court records, Tomball Police Capt. Rick Grassi was in the back seat when it happened.

"She could have died," KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy said.

The truck didn't stop to help. Sanchez, the driver, has been charged with failing to stop and render aid. Grassi admitted to investigators the two had just left a bar.

While the legal burden falls on the driver to stop, Androphy believes ethics come into play.

"At least call it in and do something to make sure the person you hit is being taken care of medically," Androphy said.

In response, Tomball's police chief told us Grassi has cooperated fully and if he had found wrongdoing, he would have addressed it.

Sanchez says he thought he had just missed the patrol car. We showed Androphy a photo.

"It's hard to believe you wouldn't have seen that you caused that much of an accident," Androphy said.

Grassi didn't return our calls seeking comment.

The injured deputy has been with the Harris County Sheriff's Office for 22 years. She's still recovering from her injuries and has not yet returned to work.

Find Jessica on Facebook at ABC13JessicaWilley or on Twitter at @jwilleyabc13

Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices


Load Comments