47-year-old man shot by off-duty HPD officer charged with aggravated assault of a police officer

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Saturday, November 27, 2021
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The off-duty officer fired her weapon as she was being dragged, HPD said. Police said the suspect had one gunshot wound in his leg.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 47-year-old man was arrested and charged after allegedly dragging an off-duty Houston police officer with a car this week.

Euless Robert Pettus is charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer and felony evading in a motor vehicle. He was arrested Thursday after HPD was tipped off, the department said.

According to HPD, Pettus entered the Home Depot in the area of the Gulf Freeway and Woodridge around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Pettus went to the electrical section of the store and loaded a shopping cart with nine, 100-foot rolls of copper wire, according to HPD. The rolls are worth more than $900.

After loading up his cart, Pettus reportedly walked out of the store without paying.

That's when a loss prevention officer attempted to detain Pettus, HPD said. The loss prevention officer contacted HPD Officer J. Harper, for backup.

HPD said Harper was in uniform, but working off-duty as an extra employee at the Home Depot.

Police said Pettus abandoned the cart and fled in a black Chrysler 300. He reportedly got into the driver's seat as the loss prevention officer stood at the driver's door.

That's when Harper approached the passenger side of the vehicle and opened the door. According to HPD, just as she opened the door, Pettus reversed the vehicle, causing Harper to get stuck between the vehicle and the opened passenger door.

Harper fell down and was dragged more than 50 feet before Pettus backed into another vehicle, police said.

Harper feared for her life as she was being dragged, un-holstered her weapon, and shot at Pettus, according to HPD.

Police said Pettus then put the vehicle into drive and fled the scene.

Harper was transported to the hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries and released later that same day.

Officers were unsure if Pettus was struck by gunfire at the time, but upon his arrest Thursday, noticed an untreated gunshot wound in one of his legs.

He was arrested in the 3500 block of Lydia Street and was transported to a local hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound.

According to HPD, Harper, assigned to the Clear Lake Patrol Division, was sworn in as an officer in May 2020.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Off-duty HPD officer in uniform tried to stop man accused of stealing from Home Depot, police say