Cruiser sabotaged, shots fired at officers raise additional concerns

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, January 1, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Law enforcement officers across our area are being warned to watch out after a patrol car was sabotaged and two officers were shot at in two separate incidents.

On this busy New Year's Eve, personal safety has been emphasized as much as public safety.

The Harris County Precinct 7 Constable's Office confirmed one of its cars was sabotaged. The attack was on a sergeant's take-home marked unit. He noticed a warning light and when he took it in for repair, a county technician discovered someone had intentionally cut the car's anti-lock braking system. Left undetected in an emergency, it could have been disastrous. An investigation is underway.

Additionally, a Harris County Sheriff's Office sergeant believes he was shot at. That officer was working his second job at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center when he heard a gunshot in the parking lot outside the emergency room. We're told when he went to check it out, he saw a man fire two more shots out of a SUV toward his patrol unit.

This all happened just after midnight Monday. A Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesperson says that sergeant was standing outside the ER entrance when he heard the first shot. After he saw the man shoot two more rounds at his unit, he hopped in and chased him.

The sergeant wasn't able to catch the suspect, but did get a vehicle description.

A few hours later, Jersey Village police stopped a SUV matching the description and arrested the man driving for suspected DWI.

This is the second report of shots fired possibly toward officers this week.

Houston Police Officers Union President Ray Hunt says officers are becoming more and more alarmed.

"Some people were saying the one incident had to be isolated because they didn't have any other incidents. Then when we found out about the second incident that had happened prior to ours, it's very, very alarming to us that in 48 hours we had two people, deputies, shot at in Harris County," Hunt says.

We're told police found anti-government literature in the man's car, and that he made anti-government statements. They did not find a gun or shell casings. They're not sure if he was the shooter.

The sheriff's office is asking anyone who knows or saw anything to call the sheriff's office.

In a letter to the 1,700 members of the Harris County Deputies' Organization, the president warns "take extreme caution" and if possible "travel in pairs." Bob Goerlitz also adds "stay out in open areas without cover for these unprovoked attacks."