HPD helicopter crew member takes down burglary suspect during chase
HOUSTON – A chase ended Tuesday afternoon with a Houston police helicopter crew member taking down a burglary suspect in north Houston right after he was run over by a police vehicle.
Channel 2 Investigates has learned that the suspect, Henriearl Hill, was out on a $100,000 bond for a burglary from January. He had already violated the terms of his bond investigation before, according to Harris County District Court online records.
Police received a burglary call at a residence in the 900 block of Melwood Tuesday and when police responded, two suspects drove off.
Officers pursued the suspects' vehicle until they stopped near Egypt and Hardy, and ran from the vehicle.
One suspect, identified as Hill, ran into an open field near Cavalcade and Hardy with an HPD SUV chasing him, when the vehicle hit him, sideswiping him. Hill got back up and ran off.
The HPD helicopter landed nearby and a crew member, still wearing his helmet, then ran up to and tackled Hill.
"We've already talked about this while we're flying," pilot Jeff Serpas said. "You've got to realize we are circling this for a while."
Before the helicopter lands, he and tactical flight officer Steven Borgstedte have discussed their plan. With the suspect on the run, they tried to maneuver the helicopter to cut off the suspect.
Serpas told KPRC 2 the helicopter was "maybe two to three feet off the ground."
When Hill showed no signs of stopping, even after being hit by a patrol car, the flight team decided to land.
"I directed the officer to put the helicopter down, that we were going to go get the suspect," Borgstedte said.
With his helmet still on, Borgstedte chased after Hill, eventually tackling him to the ground.
"Once I tackled him on the ground, he got up and started resisting. My weapon became disabled in the struggle, so I got rid of it and fought him until the other officer helped me take him into custody," Borgstedte said.
In Sky 2 video, you can see Borgstedte toss his holster and gun aside after Hill reaches for it.
At one point, Borgstedte puts his hands up like he might have to fight him.
"At that point he gets aggressive and that's when I grabbed him and took him in," Borgstedte said.
Other HPD officers arrived and took Hill into custody.
Hill, 30, is charged with evading arrest. He was out on a $100,000 bond for a January charge of engaging in criminal activity.
In March, a judge allowed Hill to stay out on bond even though he has tested positive for marijuana.
Court records show Hill has a long criminal history, including drug possession, theft, assault of a family member and violating a protective order.
The second suspect, identified as Joshua Clark, was arrested at the scene where the chase ended.
Clark, 19, is also charged with evading arrest. He's being held on a $3,000 bond.