Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News

+17

Teen's Death During Chase Drawing Fire

Teen's Death During Chase Drawing Fire

San Antonio Express-News via YellowBrix

January 19, 2010

SAN ANTONIO – Even when off the clock, San Antonio police officers have a responsibility to take action if they witness a crime.

But how much action — and to what degree — was debated after a local teen was killed in a crash involving an off-duty patrolman who chased the teen and his brother, ramming his SUV into their truck.

The officer, a two-year member of the department, said he used deadly force only after the teen in the bed of the truck fired a shotgun at him, according to a police report.

“This defensive action by the officer was in response to the suspect’s threat of deadly force,” said Sgt. Chris Benavides, a spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department.

Benavides said a civilian also would have been justified in defending himself against such a threat.

The officer, Alonzio Hardin, 41, has been placed on administrative duty while the Police Department’s shooting team investigates the incident in which Ethan Owen died. Owen, 18, suffered fatal injuries when he was ejected from the bed of the truck after it crashed. His older brother, Eric, was driving the vehicle, police said. The 23-year-old was charged with aggravated robbery.

Criminologist Brian Withrow from Texas State University said the investigation should focus on whether Hardin’s use of deadly force was appropriate.

“He’s in the legal right to do that, but whether or not he used proper judgment is a different question altogether,” Withrow said.

Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina, said the issue becomes muddied because the younger sibling fired the shotgun.

“If you were just a good Samaritan following this person, I don’t think you’d be indicted,” he said. “I think the shotgun trumps everything.”

But Norman Owen, a former Bexar County deputy and the father of the teen killed, said the officer overreacted.

“I can’t understand why an off-duty police officer would chase those kids in a private vehicle,” the father said. “You’re trained to use a cell phone and call in, maybe, but not to do something that stupid.”


+17
  • Firearms_pix_086_max50

    GLOCK_45_4U

    over 4 years ago

    270 Comments

    I WONDER IF ANYONE WOULD BE ABLE TO KNOW THE AGE OF A SHOTGUN WEILDING FELON THATS SHOOTING AT THEM. AND, I CANT THINK OF ANYONE "OVERREACTING" ABOUT BEING SHOT AT. CAN YOU POSSIBLY OVERREACT? THIS IS VERY TRAGIC, A LIFE WAS LOST. AND FOR WHAT? BUT LAY BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS. THE BLAME GOES TO THE ONES WHO MADE THE CHOICE TO VIOLATE THE LAW, TO STEAL AND TO VICTIMIZE. THE DECISION WAS MADE TO ROB, TO RUN AND TO ATTEMPT TO MURDER ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IN AN ATTEMPT TO COVER THEIR TRACKS. IM SORRY FOR MR. OWEN'S LOSS BUT YOU CANT BLAME THE O.D. OFFICER FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING AND FOR PROTECTING HIS OWN LIFE. BE SAFE.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 4 years ago

    14614 Comments

    Well, if the little bastards hadn't robbed a little old lady and then tried to shoot and kill the individual that was following them and trying to get info to capture them then he wouldn't have ended up as road kill, would he? They need to charge the other brother with armed robbery and murder as a death occured in the commission of a crime. As for the father, as a retired LEO he should know better.

  • Cot_max50

    hbg522

    over 4 years ago

    7006 Comments

    a felony happened in his presence and i believe he did the right thing, especially after being shot at. damned if you do and damned if you dont. those 2 boys decided their own fate.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

63595_1476211195257_170665_n_1__max30
SE851 gave a thumbs up to The Topic "Question", about 1 hour ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
paultripletta posted in: "Controls your Fat Formation", about 1 hour ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
paultripletta posted: "Controls your Fat Formation", about 1 hour ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
tsali6297 posted: "The spectacle of a waterfall", about 1 hour ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
tsali6297 posted in: "The spectacle of a waterfall", about 1 hour ago.