Harlingen releases chase policy weeks after fatal wreck
Wed, 13 Apr 2011 15:40:48 GMT —
Officials with the City of Harlingen have released the police department's chase policy weeks after a pursuit claimed the life of an innocent bystander.
The March 24th drug chase ended with the death of 44-year-old Maria D. Osornio. Her 50-year-old husband
The two were inside a car hit by a truck driven by fleeing suspects Eric Christopher Gonzalez and Nydia Gonzalez.
Eric Christopher Gonzalez remains in the Cameron County Jail under murder and other charges while Nydia Gonzalez posted for a marijuana charge.
Action 4 News requested a copy of the Harlingen Police Department's chase policy in the days following the fatal chase.
Harlingen City Attorney Roxanne Cotroneo released a copy of the police department's pursuit policy late Tuesday afternoon, two and half weeks after the chase.
The policy states that vehicular pursuits represent a danger to the lives of the public, officers and suspects and that the police department narrowly regulates them.
The policy outlines how chases are started and how they are supposed to end.
According to the policy, officers can end a chase if it's deemed not to be safe due to weather or traffic conditions.
Chases can also be terminated if the suspect vehicle is too far away, the danger of the chase is greater than the value of catching the suspect or the suspect has fled into Mexico.
"A decision terminate pursuit may be the most rational means of preserving lives and property of both the public, and the officers and suspects engaged in the pursuit," the policy states.Click here for a PDF copy of the Harlingen Police Department chase policy