A Lubbock police officer is on paid administrative leave, following a chase in late March.
On March 29, Officer Christopher Michael Hennsley spotted a car he believed was linked to a burglary from the day before. According to Hennsley's police report, the car was headed east in the 6500 block of I-27.
The report states that Hennsley turned on his lights and siren to stop the car, but the driver of the vehicle, 18-year-old Alize Castilleja, led Hennsley on a chase, even driving through someone's yard before spinning out in the 5500 block of Avenue D and allegedly trying to drive away again.
In the report, Hennsley states at that point, he had two options: either slide into a fence, or cause a low speed collision - which is what he did.
After arresting Castilleja, Hennsley reported that in addition to two passengers in the car, he also found two infants in the back seat. The infants were in car seats, but those car seats were not buckled in.
This is not the first time Officer Hennsley has been the focus of an internal investigation.
Hennsley was previously placed on indefinite suspension in June of 2011 for an incident that happened in January of 2010. According to his suspension papers, Hennsley violated the city's use of force policy, "misrepresented a suspect's actions" following a police chase and unnecessarily destroyed a citizen's property.
Hennsley was re-instated in November 2011 following an appeal.
Lubbock police are investigating this latest incident from March 29. At this time, it is unclear if the chase was authorized, or if it was justified according to department policy.
Castilleja was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center on two counts of abandoning a child, one count of evading in a vehicle and violating his parole.
LPD released this statement about the internal investigation:
"The pursuit on March 29th, 2017 that ended in a collision at the corner of 55th Street and Avenue D is currently the subject of an Internal Affairs Investigation. As part of that investigation, it will be determined if the officers' actions are consistent with the Lubbock Police Department policy.
The pursuing officer has been placed on administrative leave, but this is not indicative of any wrong doing. No disciplinary action has been taken pending the outcome of the investigation."
We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.
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