A Fort Worth cop has been removed from the SWAT team and a second one has been stripped of his badge and gun while the police department investigates their roles in a highly publicized car chase last Wednesday, according to multiple law enforcement sources.
The chase dragged on for about two hours until a SWAT member rammed the suspect’s car on Interstate 30 near Six Flags Over Texas to end the pursuit.
Officer Dennis Alice was driving an armored vehicle known as a BearCat when he performed a “pit maneuver” — an unauthorized move — to force the driver to crash and end the pursuit.
In footage of the chase, Gentry appears to strike the driver with the butt end of a weapon. Sources familiar with the investigation say it was a tear gas launcher.
The chase, which started about 2 p.m., finally rewarded patient viewers as it came to a dramatic finish when a SWAT vehicle drove into the white sedan about 4 p.m. and brought it to a stop in Arlington.
The police say Gonzales had a large amount of methamphetamine when a narcotics officer tried to pull him over in Fort Worth. They said he spent more than an hour on the phone with police during the chase, explaining that he was afraid to stop.
The Fort Worth Police Department’s pursuit policy does not allow officers to pass or block a fleeing vehicle, so they took a patient approach as the car went over curbs and weaved through traffic. But after Gonzales drove the wrong way on an exit ramp and picked up speed, they’d had enough.
The SWAT vehicle slammed the car into a median before heavily armed officers swarmed in, breaking his windows and pulling him to the pavement.
Gonzales was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. He faces charges of evading arrest in a vehicle and possession of more than 400 grams of a controlled substance.
A second SWAT officer, Brian Gentry, was removed from active duty while the department investigates whether he used excessive force against 42-year-old Joe Gonzales.