Chase near Port of Houston turns deadly

January 11, 2009 6:05:36 AM PST
A mother is distraught after her son was killed. His SUV was hit in a police chase Saturday. The chase suspect is Frank Marron, just 17 years old. We've learned he was on probation in the juvenile system and has several arrests for driving stolen cars. And now, he faces felony murder.

Police say he led them on a short three-minute chase, but it was enough to kill an innocent man.

Marron squirmed away from our camera as he sat in the back of a patrol car. He answered some questions.

"I didn't want to go to jail," he said. "I don't have a license or nothing."

But was combative for others.

"Get you and your camera (expletive) away from me," he said.

Houston police say he's been charged with murder. The victim's mother has no sympathy.

"I'm not going to lie," said Elia Rosales. "I'm not going to say I forgive them. No, they going to pay."

Police were after a black Ford F-350. It was stolen. They tried to stop the truck, but the teen behind the wheel took off and so did officers. The chase headed westbound on Elwood in the east end.

Police say the truck barreled through a yield sign at 79th and into Homero Rosales' SUV. While a passenger went to the hospital, the husband, father and son died at the scene.

Through his family's grief there was also anger and it was directed at Houston police.

"All these innocent people get killed because you keep chasing them," said one distraught woman at the scene. "It's not worth killing somebody."

Soon others joined in with criticism.

"If they would have let the chase go, there wouldn't have been no life taken," said Rudy Martinez, Jr., a friend of the victim.

And police were forced to defend their actions.

"It's very tragic that this happened, but I think you have to put the full responsibility on the suspect, who put all these things in motion," said Steve Perez with HPD's vehicular crimes division.

As with all chases, this one will be reviewed. While the victim's mother places some blame on the department, she is focused on the teenager who told us he didn't steal the truck, he just found it.

"I hope, I wish one day something like this happens to his family," said Rosales.

The victim's mother tells us Homero Rosales worked at the Houston Chronicle in its press room and had worked there for years. There was a passenger in the SUV. It was a friend of Rosales. He's listed as stable at Ben Taub Hospital. As for the suspect, if convicted he faces up to 99 years in prison.

HPD made changes to its chase policy last year. Under it, officers must constantly evaluate the risk factors involved when starting or continuing a pursuit. That includes the seriousness of the crime.

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