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SMPD Deadly Pursuit: The 'Right Thing To Do'

Updated: Monday, June 30 2014, 11:53 AM CDT
There is newly released video of a deadly police chase through a residential area, and we are asking police why it had to happen.

It's the second deadly police pursuit in San Marcos in less than two months.  Police say it's all about risk.  The San Marcos police department does have a policy in which they can stop a chase.  Police say the video released Friday afternoon however, shows why they kept going.

"Pursuits are not something we want to do, it's something that we had to do in some cases" explained San Marcos Assistant Police Chief Chase Stapp.  Stapp contends officers had to chase the pick-up truck early Monday morning.  "We have to weigh risks involved versus the need to catch the person" he continued.

An officer suspected the driver of the truck of being drunk. When the officer tried to pull him over, the driver didn't stop.  That's when the five minute pursuit began.   That's also when police start thinking about if the chase is worth continuing.

"Intoxicated drivers do pose a pretty serious threat to the public and to themselves" Stapp explained.  "When they weigh the need to stop a potential drunk driver versus the risks that really wasn't present at the time, it was the right thing to do I think to continue the pursuit I think."

Some of those risks are pedestrians.  Friday afternoon we saw several people walking.   We also saw a slow but steady flow of traffic in the neighborhood.
At three a-m Monday morning, that wasn't the case.  No one expected the tragic ending.

"We offer our condolences to the families again this is not how we would want any pursuit to end.  The officers wouldn't want it to, I wouldn't want it to and we're sorry for their loss" Stapp said.

Charles Crayton was the passenger killed. Police have not released the name of the driver pending an autopsy. Family however tells us it was Fabian Hernandez.  We're told the two were very close friends who grew up together.

By Melanie LoftonSMPD Deadly Pursuit: The 'Right Thing To Do'


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