Drowned cop heroically refused to stay home amid flooding: chief

Just four people have been arrested for looting during Hurricane Harvey. Above law-abiding citizens wait in line to get supplies from a Houston grocery store on Sunday 

On Tuesday, Acevedo vividly laid out the details of how his officer, Sgt. Steve Perez, had lost his life trying to get to work when he became trapped in his patrol vehicle in a flooded highway underpass.

Perez was a "dedicated individual that would not just show up to work", Acevedo said.

A 60-year-old veteran Houston police officer died after he drove into floodwaters on his way to work Sunday morning, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in an emotional press conference on Tuesday.

At least 18 people have lost their lives following heavy rainfall and flooding.

A Houston police officer drowned while going to work on the effort to rescue those left devastated by Harvey, according to police.

Turner said the curfew would help prevent "property crimes" against evacuated homes, and was in force "only to prevent potential criminal acts".


By that evening, they "knew in our hearts this was going to be a recovery mission", the police chief said, tearing up.

Acevedo said officers began an extensive search with dive teams and members of the Cajun Navy to locate him, but once the dive team arrived to the area, it was too risky to conduct a search.

Sgt. Perez passed away two days before his 61st birthday.

In a statement yesterday, the Houston Police Department said Perez's death "reminds us of the dangers that police officers willingly face every day in order to serve this great City".

The newspaper says the department hasn't yet notified his family. Calls for rescue have also overwhelmed emergency teams that they have had little time to search for bodies. The department has not released the officer's identity, and the Houston mayor and police chief have said they can not confirm the report.

Police notified Perez's family at the sergeant's home, Acevedo said.

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