HPD Helicopter Officers Help Track Down Violent Criminal

May 16, 2008 - A violent suspect who fired shots at a League City police officer on Monday (May 12) found out the hard way that you can run, but you can’t hide from a Houston police helicopter on a mission to hunt you down.

Darion Ray (b/m, DOB: 12-26-1988) was taken into custody about 6 a.m. on Monday morning after a 90-minute long search, and charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer by the League City Police Department.

An on-duty League City police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect when the male exited the vehicle and ran. When the officer pursued him, the suspect fired several shots at the officer along the Gulf Freeway (Interstate 45 South) in Dickinson. The officer returned fire and took cover as officers from several area police agencies converged on the area, including Seabrook police with a canine unit to help track the suspect.

HPD Helicopter Patrol Unit Officers Michael Silman (Pilot) and J.P. Serpas (Tactical Flight Officer) responded to the scene in their chopper and conducted an extensive search in the darkness. Refusing to give up, the helicopter officers spotted the suspect running southbound on the Gulf Freeway feeder road near FM 517. The suspect, knowing he was seen from above, then swam across Dickinson Bayou. The HPD chopper hovered lower, stopping the suspect and forcing him to swim back to shore. He was then taken into custody by a League City police officer forced to use a Conducted Energy Device to effect the arrest of the uncooperative suspect.

“These are the types of incidents that show just how vital our helicopter fleet and our pilots are in being extra sets of eyes for officers on the ground in nabbing the most evasive of criminals,” said Captain Tom Runyan of the HPD Traffic Division. “With City Council paving the way for us to purchase an additional 11 helicopters in the next fiscal year, our pilots will have more opportunities to enhance public safety, catch more criminals and help Keep Houston Safe.”


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.

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