Waco – As a night patrol supervisor, Deputy Sgt. Chris Eubank works the back streets of east Waco, Bellmead, Lacy-Lakeview, all cities whose minority neighborhoods are teeming with drug houses, addicts, prostitutes, and other people in pursuit of their next high.
He drives a beat-up SUV with more than 250,000 miles on it, a cop car with no “light bar,” or wig wag lights to let the driver of a suspect vehicle he is in pursuit. He put that in the words of a memo he wrote to Assistant Chief Ryan E. Holt, chief of the Waco Police Department’s Patrol Division.
In his memo, he denies he was never in active pursuit of a vehicle that wrecked at the corner of Mill Street and Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard after hitting a curb, clipping a light pole and flipping.
He also wanted to let the Chief know he wanted to “express my apologies for the confusion in reference to the incident that occurred on March 21, 2015 on Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard…”
The reports he and his men filed are in diametric opposition to those filed by accident investigators from the police department, in whose jurisdiction a high speed chase ended in a serious single car accident that ejected both occupants of the suspect vehicle and resulted in a serious head injury for the passenger.
When he saw his quarry driving away from a warren of cul de sacs and terraces in an east Waco neighborhood, the driver “was already driving at a high rate of speed and all over the road,” he wrote. “At no time was I within two football field lengths of this vehicle,” he said.
Assistant Chief Holt wrote back in reply, “I have no doubt that our agencies will continue the strong working relationship that is necessary to provide peace for our citizens…”
His officers wrote strong opinions to the contrary. They don’t seem to have any doubts, either.
Officer John Clark got copies of the videos made by dash cameras in the vehicles driven by Eubank and Corporal Joseph Ballew. He said the data indicated that Eubank’s top speed was 79 miles per hour; Ballew’s SUV reached a peak speed of 86 miles per hour.
“Based off the video evidence I do believe that McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Eubank was in pursuit of the Nissan. This is based off the fact that Sgt. Eubank at the first of his video indicates that he has a vehicle trying to get away from him.” He noted that he could tell from watching the video that both he and Ballew were within a couple of blocks of the car they were chasing.
He concluded, “After discussing this case with him (his supervisor) due to an agreement between the Sheriff Office and Waco PD it was decided that we would assist with the reconstruction of the collision and the cse would be turned over to the Sheriff Office for any determination of any criminal charges. I spoke with Capt. (Steve) Smith and he was in agreement of this.”
His words speak for themselves. You folks charge him, and I will serve as your complaining expert witness.
Calculations made by an accident investigator show the Nissan driven by Artee Harris was traveling 52 miles per hour after it jumped a curb, plowed through some small trees planted in the median, struck a light pole, and then flipped “at least once.” Harris is charged with the third degree felony of evading arrest, a charge in which it must be proven that he has a prior conviction for the same charge and his actions resulted in serious bodily harm to another person. Neither of those allegations are enumerated in an affidavit of probable cause sworn to by a detective and acknowledged by Justice of the Peace Diane Hensley.
Sheriff Parnell McNamara responded to a request for racial profiling statistics required by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
They show these results, based on the number of citations issued in traffic stops. There is no information about uncleared crime, crimes cleared by arrest and the resulting crime clearance rate, tabulated by racial and ethnic classification.