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Teen's Death During Chase Drawing Fire

Teen's Death During Chase Drawing Fire

San Antonio Express-News via YellowBrix

January 19, 2010

Police acknowledged that Hardin, even though in possession of a cell phone, never called dispatchers to report the fleeing suspects or that he was following them.

Authorities said Hardin began following the truck after he saw Ethan Owen get out of the pickup at a Walmart in the 2100 block of Southeast Loop 410, yank a woman’s purse from her arm and jump into the back of the pickup.

Benavides, the police spokesman, said Hardin, who was in plain clothes, never had a chance to identify himself as a police officer and wasn’t able to access his cell phone during the four-mile chase.

He said Hardin was following the vehicle so he could read the license plate. Police have not said how fast the vehicles were going.

“When the off-duty officer was close enough to see the license plate, he was confronted with the threat on his life,” Benavides said in an e-mail. “He saw the suspect was pointing a shotgun at him, then heard a boom.”

Police said neither Hardin nor his SUV were hit, but they did find a spent shell casing in the shotgun’s barrel.

It was after the boom that Eric Owen lost control of the truck, crashing into a retaining wall.

“It just all sounds kinda odd,” said Norman Owen, who retired from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office about 15 years ago.

Preliminarily, Benavides said, it appears Hardin acted appropriately.

Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, agrees.

“He witnessed a robbery, and if that officer had not continued to follow him, he certainly would have escaped,” Helle said.

The San Antonio Police Department’s general manual addresses pursuits when officers are on duty, but actions of off-duty officers are not mentioned other than in a section called “duty to take action.”

Even while off-duty, police officers are charged with the responsibility to “protect lives and property,” the manual states, and must take action if they see a felony occur. “The officer reacted to the situation,” said Chief William McManus, who did not discuss the incident further, citing the open investigation.

  • Joefriday_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sorry but pulling a purse off a womans shoulder in VA is robbery. Then they knew they were being followed by the off duty officer and in an attempt to make thier getaway from the robbery they think it is OK to shoot at a person? They are violent criminals and the one son killed his own brother int he commission of a robbery he should get the max on everything. Officer did nothing wrong.

  • Dscf2012_max50


    over 4 years ago


    once the shotgun came out, they limited the officers available options. Common sense says if you shoot at a cop you are going to get hurt or worse. PERIOD

  • Norris-photo_max50


    over 4 years ago


    3 Strikes and your out...Strike one/ stole a purse...Strike two/got in the bed of a pick up...Strike three/fired a weapon at a police officer. Pretty much "reap what you sow" if you ask me.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 4 years ago


    BUMP!!! Couldnt have said it better SkoolCop!!

  • Flags_and_stars_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great job by Officer Hardin!

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 4 years ago


    The actions of the officer were appropiate for the situation. The two fleeing felons actions were the cause of one of their deaths.. I would find no fault on the part of the officer. The father should have taken action during the upbringing of these two POS's instead of trying to make excuses for their actions by blameing everyone else and not taking responsibility for the bad conduct.

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Glad the officer is okay. The boys decided their own fate as someone mentioned.

  • 25-1-13-a_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    I'm sorry.... I am finding it difficult to feel bad for dad. Sounds to me like Norman Owen, a former Bexar County deputy and the father of the teen killed, has been making excuses for his two sons for most of their lives. Nothing has changed too much here except that both of his sons appear in fact to be a POS felons and now Owen is trying to redirect blame once again. Quick to "Monday Morning Quarterback" the actions of the involved off-duty officer instead of admitting he has two sons that qualify as P'sOS and that one payed the consequences of his actions. I'd like to see just how Owens would have handle the very same situation of someone leveling a shotgun at him while he was off-duty but actively serving and not from the comfort of his living-room today. As for his sons, just maybe if Owen had placed a well timed and targeted boot up both oh his sons fleshy hindquarters, this would not even be a discussion...... Just it were.

  • Does_this_ass_make_my_car_look_big_bumper_sticker-p128618847357252764tmn6_313_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Kudos my brother. Don't listen to the wannabe lawyers/experts and others who question your actions. Great job in stopping a felon.

  • 1460209889_m_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great job officer Hardin

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Choices and consequences by the crooks, and you can see the results didn't favor the bad guys. Glad the officer and the victim weren't hurt.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Officers state of mind....Simple!!!!!

  • Strafzettel_max50


    over 4 years ago


    the sheep sometimes fear the sheep dog as he had teeth just like the wolf.......this officer is a sheep dog and gets a pat on the back from me...

  • Big_dog_pd_normal_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is ridiculous. This officer, with only a couple years' experience, would obviously be full of zeal and want to be pro-active. Seeing a felony on progress, I would hope that any cop would have taken interest in the suspect's apprehension, and getting the vehicle's information was a good plan. None of his actions should negate the fact that he was FIRED UPON, and the suspects appeared to have no knowledge that he was an officer. I'm very tired of people second guessing the actions of LE to justify bad behavior by a suspect. Good job, officer, and glad you weren't hurt.

  • 021_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Consequences...and Responsibility....job well done by the officers....

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