Waller police chief responds to DA criticism in cyclist crash

Llewellyn admits department mishandled investigation, denies other claims

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Thursday, October 14, 2021
Waller Co. DA slams police over teen's crash with cyclists
A war of words taking place in Waller County - the district attorney says his patience is wearing thin over investigators' handling of a crash involving a group of cyclists and a 16-year-old driver.

WALLER, Texas (KTRK) -- The leader of the department in charge of an investigation into a teen driver's crash that injured six cyclists last month has responded to mounting criticism over the handling of the case, days after the county's top prosecutor went public with his accusations.

The video above is from previous reporting on this story.

"It has been stated that our agency mishandled the initial investigation of the crash scene," Waller Police Chief Bill Llewellyn wrote Thursday in a Facebook post. "That is true. A large part of being professional, is being accountable. The scene was not managed in a manner that is acceptable to me, however; none of the deficiencies that have been identified were due to poor policy or procedure within the department, nor were they influenced by who was involved in the crash or any other personal associations."

RELATED: Waller Co. DA Elton Mathis slams police over teen's crash with cyclists

A teenage driver slammed into the cyclists as they rode on Business 290 on Sept. 25. Just before the crash, witnesses told ABC13 the teenager was antagonizing the cyclists by "rolling coal," which means to blow exhaust onto them.

The teen driver was released from the scene and no arrests were made, but Llwellyn said in his post Thursday that the investigation remains active.

SEE RELATED STORY: Investigation into crash between teen, cyclists in Waller Co. 'not handled appropriately,' DA says

Llewellyn's comments come days after Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis slammed the department over the case, claiming Waller PD brushed it off.

"This case was not handled appropriately by the investigating agency. PERIOD. Despite being encouraged by the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat the scene as a crime scene and to contact the D.A.'s Office for advice on how to proceed, the investigating agency chose not to do so," Mathis wrote.

Llewellyn admitted that certain steps were not followed, but denied that officers chose not to contact the district attorney's office during the investigation, claiming no one answered the phone.

SEE ALSO: Teen intended to 'smoke' cyclists, but plowed into them instead

"Admittedly, the sergeant failed to leave a message, but contact was attempted," Llewellyn wrote. "My sergeant was counseled regarding failing to leave a message, but I would also suggest that if the office head wishes to decrease his frustration, he should recommend to his employees that they answer their phone when 'on call.'"

Llewellyn joined Mathis in denying any personal connection or influence over the case due to rumors of connections between the teen driver and Waller city leaders.

"I will state unequivocally that I have never met any of the parties involved in the crash incident and I have not received any influence from any member of city administration regarding this incident," Llewellyn said.

The case will be presented to a grand jury once the investigation is complete, which could happen as early as this month. The grand jury could make the decision to indict the teenager for a crime including aggravated assault charges.

SEE MORE: Teen intended to 'smoke' cyclists, but plowed into them instead