Hit and Runs
Crime Stoppers of Houston started their morning on Friday, May 19th reporting two different arrests in hit and runs in the Houston area thanks to anonymous tipsters. This press conference highlighted the two drivers, victims, and the stories behind their cases. Crime Stoppers of Houston Executive Director, Rania Mankarious, District Attorney, Kim Ogg, Chief of the HCDAO Vehicular Crimes Division, Sean Teare, HPC Captain William McPhearson, Sgt. Samuel Acevedo, Officer J.T. Jorsch and Bike Houston’s Advocacy Director, Mary Blitzer attended the press conference along with several other media partners.
Two tips came in to Crime Stoppers within a two-hour time frame which both led to the arrests of the hit and run suspects. Suspect David Legate hit a motorcyclist head on driving along Westheimer and suspect Tawana Atkins hit a bicyclist along Tidwell. Both fatal accidents in which both suspects failed to stop and render.
In 2016, one in five pedestrian fatalities were hit and run related, with an estimated 1,500 deaths a year. What many people don’t realize is failure to stop and attempt to help the victim can result in a 2-20 year sentence. “Stick around,” Kim Ogg states at the press conference. The driver of the vehicle will be better off staying at the scene and calling police then taking off. Sentences could be less harsh by sticking around rather than being caught on the run. “Things will go better for you in our justice system if you do,” Ogg said.
Pedestrian safety is a priority in Houston and continues to be educated on. The more aware pedestrians, cyclists, etc. are, the better off our city will be. Stay on the sidewalks if possible and always wear a helmet! A helmet is the most effective way to prevent head injury in a crash. Also, ensure you are familiar with pedestrian crosswalks and the laws behind riding your bike in the roadways before leaving for your destination.
Crime Stoppers of Houston is extremely thankful for those tipsters who called and reported what they knew. They ask for more tips on unsolved hit and run crimes if anyone out there knows anything. “There are grieving families behind these cases,” Rania Mankarious pleads.
Check out a few of the news reports from our partners below on these two cases:
Please visit our Facebook page to see the full press conference live: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeStoppersOfHouston/