An off-duty HISD police officer helped the Houston Police Department catch two bank robbery suspects Wednesday after following their car in his own vehicle.
“A woman ran to my vehicle, slapping on the window and was just telling me, ‘they’re robbing a bank, they’re robbing a bank,’” HISD police officer Robert Valdez told KTRK-TV.
Valdez, who was on his way to work at the time, told Channel 13 that he responded by following the suspects’ car from the Chase Bank at Westheimer and Dunvale Road on the morning of Nov. 20. Valdez called HPD to report his location and provide officers with a description of the suspects’ car, KTRK-TV reported.
After pursuing the vehicle in the middle of rush hour, Valdez told Channel 13 that he worked with fellow HISD officer Victor Hernandez to set up a barrier to block the suspects’ car at a traffic light at the 610 North Loop and North Main, forcing two men to take off on foot. KTRK-TV’s video shows one suspect running across the highway. Another ran into a nearby restaurant before being caught by HPD. A third suspect was able to flee.
“As soon as something like that happens, all of a sudden our training just comes into play,” Valdez, a 15-year veteran with HISD Police, told KTRK-TV.
HISD police officers are mandated by the state of Texas to receive 20 hours of in-service police training each year, but many receive 40-plus hours a year, according to HISD Asst. Police Chief Robert Mock.
“We’re very proud of both of our officers for stepping up and getting involved in this situation that could have been potentially very dangerous,” Mock said. “They acted calmly and cool and were able to assist in a successful arrest.”