Couple wants restitution for damage after car chase

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Couple hit by a chase suspect want restitution for damages

Recently engaged, Dr. David Perucca and Sherri Witt, were heading to get ready for Valentine's Day dinner when they got caught up in a police chase near 249 and the Beltway.

"He was going in the opposite direction and almost hit me head-on," Perucca says. "Then I went forward to the next light where the officer was laying down the tack strip and told me to stop. He made a U-turn while they were still pursuing him. He hit me in the rear and kept on going."

"I was so confused that I couldn't even remember my daughter's name or anything," Witt told Eyewitness News.

The two were taken to the hospital with relatively minor injuries that are still affecting them. He injured his neck and shoulder in the accident. She had head and jaw injuries and still suffers from dizziness two weeks later. So far, they say they've racked up about $15,000 in medical bills.

His BMW Z4 was totaled.

"The DA says, 'why are you so mad? Why are you calling me?' I said, 'I'd like to know what's going to happen with this suspect,'" explains Perucca.

But he says what the rep from the Harris County DA's Office said next made his blood boil.

"'What's the problem? You have a nice car. You certainly have enough money to cover the car.'"

He claims the DA's Office told them that there were more serious crimes for them to worry about.

Not cool, says Witt: "I know you're busy, but that's not our problem. This happened to us. What are you going to do about it?"

We reached out to the DA's Office Monday afternoon, but they didn't respond by the time this story aired.

A Harris County Precinct One Constable spokesman tells us their deputies initiated the chase with what was a routine traffic stop, and that it never hit excessive speeds.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office joined once it got to their territory. It was its deputy that put out the spike strips. A spokesman tells us it's unfortunate that the accident happened, but says that decision to use spike strips is always made with public safety in mind. It's approved by a supervisor and only carried out by someone with specialized training.

"I would like to see restitution in a monetary form. I have to now pay for a new vehicle. I'd like to see jail time. Minimum of jail time for a felony," adds Perucca.

Precinct One deputies arrested 50-year old Douglas Pittman shortly after the crash. He's charged with evading arrest and possession of cocaine.

Related Topics:
newspolice chasehigh-speed chaseHouston
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