Officer Killed When Teen Intentionally Strikes Him With SUV
July 11, 2011
BEAUMONT, TX — A Texas man has been charged with capital murder after intentionally driving his fleeing sport utility vehicle into the patrol car of an officer, who was struck and killed, police said.
Bond was set at $250,000 Saturday for John Wesley Nero, 30, of Beaumont in Southeast Texas, KFDM-TV reported. He remained in a hospital in serious condition for injuries he sustained in the Friday night crash.
Beaumont Police Chief Frank Coffin said Officer Bryan Mitchell Hebert, 36, had stopped his patrol car about 10:45 p.m. Friday and was retrieving road spikes from his trunk to try to stop the fleeing SUV when the vehicle struck the patrol car head-on, pushing it into the officer.
Hebert, who served 10 years with the department, was pronounced dead at a Beaumont hospital.
Police said officers were pursuing Nero because he had been involved in a domestic disturbance Friday evening and assaulted his mother and grandmother. According to an affidavit, Nero allegedly told his mother that he would kill everyone if police were called.
Coffin said the two women told officers they caught Nero looking at what they believed to be child pornography and that he became enraged and struck them both when they confronted him about it. The women said he left the home after hitting them.
A woman was killed in a crash on the Northwest Side crash this morning. A man was taken into custody who appeared to be driving the Range Rover, according to witnesses.
Officers later spotted Nero behind a department store and tried to speak with him, but they say he sped away. A high-speed chase was under way when Hebert parked his vehicle and attempted to retrieve the spikes to put down in the roadway. The SUV struck the patrol car, which according to the affidavit had its emergency lights on, head-on.
Authorities believe a number of people may have seen what happened, and they are asking witnesses to contact police.
Hebert was a correctional officer before joining the Beaumont department. He was sworn in as an officer in January 2001.
He is the 17th Beaumont police officer to die in the line of duty since 1881.The last Beaumont officer killed in the line of duty was Lisa Beaulieu, who was struck by a drunk driver on April 27, 2007, while she was providing traffic assistance at an accident scene.
Police Chief Mark Blanton of neighboring Port Arthur said he’s sending officers to Beaumont to help patrol and provide whatever assistance is necessary while Beaumont police mourn the death of their colleague.