'The ultimate sacrifice': Houston Police Sgt. Steve Perez drowned in Harvey floodwaters

Aug 30, 2017, 01:53
'The ultimate sacrifice': Houston Police Sgt. Steve Perez drowned in Harvey floodwaters

"This is an individual who was with HPD, Houston's finest, men and women in blue, for 34 years", Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters.

Sergeant Steve Perez who worked in traffic enforcement drowned in Houston while driving through an underpass during the floods.

The dive team returned and discovered Perez' body Tuesday morning, Acevedo said.

On Sunday at around 4 a.m., Sgt. Steve Perez left his home amid torrential rains, Acevedo said.

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"His response was, 'I've got work to do, '" he said. He was unable to escape his patrol auto near I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. He said officers kept watch over the area overnight.

"Because as much as we wanted to recover him last night, we could not put more officers at risk for what we knew in our hearts was going to be a recovery mission", said Chief Acevedo, holding back tears.

The department's dive team finally located the officer's body around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Perez served on the force for 34 years and was now assigned to the traffic enforcement division.

The chief added, "I had the privilege of notifying his wife and his son and extended family that he died and laid down his life".

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Acevedo said that when roll call was taken Monday morning, authorities noticed Perez was missing. The New York Post reported that officials had informed them that Perez had tried to get out of his patrol auto, but the waters were too treacherous.

"It was too treacherous to go under (into the floodwaters) and look for him", Acevedo said, his voice cracking with emotion.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump headed to Texas Tuesday to survey the damage caused from Hurricane Harvey and show their support for Texans affected by the largest natural disaster to hit the state in more than a decade.

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