Officers in Action
Officer J. J. Greenhaw
Last month a citizen (complainant) called the Juvenile Division to report her eight year old son had not been home in almost a day and that her boyfriend was the last one with him. The complainant told Juvenile officers that the previous day she had an argument with her boyfriend.
When the complainant’s boyfriend never returned home, she attempted to contact him numerous times throughout the day but was unsuccessful, so she contacted HPD. An investigation was begun by the Homicide Division involving numerous investigators chasing leads throughout the day and ultimately culminated in an Amber Alert being issued for the child. Unfortunately, this effort was unable to locate the missing eight year old by the end of the day.
Officer J. J. Greenhaw was on routine patrol in northeast Houston when he observed the boyfriend driving the complainant’s vehicle and pulled him over for a traffic violation. At the time, Officer Greenhaw did not know that the boyfriend was a suspect and that an Amber Alert had been issued.
As Officer Greenhaw pulled over the boyfriend, and before he could run the plate, the boyfriend jumped out of the car and approached him attempting to draw his attention away from the vehicle. Officer Greenhaw asked the suspect several questions and found that he had no identification with him. Officer Greenhaw detained the boyfriend in the police car and went up to the vehicle and continued his investigation with a passenger in the front seat. This passenger was found to be intoxicated and was subsequently detained as well.
At this time, Officer Greenhaw believed that there were only two adults in the car. However, instincts took over and Officer Greenhaw obtained consent to search the vehicle. Officer Greenhaw was looking through the car when he moved a large pile of clothes and blankets in the back seat. To his surprise he found the eight year old boy in the back seat of the car buried under blankets and clothes so that he was totally hidden from view.
Neither suspect in the car alerted Officer Greenhaw that the boy was hidden in the car. When the boy was found, the boyfriend tried to tell Officer Greenhaw that he was his son.
After sorting through the information, Officer Greenhaw was able to run the vehicle’s license plate on the police car’s computer. He received the Amber Alert notification which allowed him to put the entire puzzle together as well as make the necessary contacts to the Homicide Division so that their investigation could be continued.
From a traffic stop and thorough fieldwork of Officer Greenhaw, a criminal was taken off the streets of Houston by good police work. The suspect (who was found to be a violent, repeat felony offender) was charged with Unlawful Restraint and held without bond. The missing eight year old boy was safely reunited with his mother and the case was closed with a happy conclusion.