Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declined at a Tuesday press conference to confirm the alleged accidental drowning of a Houston police officer that has been reported by the Houston Chronicle.
A Houston Police Department spokesperson also could not confirm the report of a 34-year-veteran who allegedly drowned in his patrol car Sunday night, referring the Houston Press to Houston's Office of Emergency Management.
The Chronicle based its report on three unnamed department officials:
Search and rescue crews are currently recovering his body. The department has not yet formally notified the officer's family.
'He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn,' one high-ranking official said, asking not to be identified.
After getting trapped in high water, the officer tried to get out but was unable to.
The Press is waiting to hear back from the OEM and will update accordingly.
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Update, Aug. 29, 2:30 pm: Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo on Tuesday confirmed the death of 34-year department veteran Sergeant Steve Perez, who drowned Sunday night as he drove into a flooded underpass.
Acevedo said a dive team recovered Perez's body Tuesday morning.
A hitch in his voice, Acevedo described Perez, 60, as "a sweet, gentle public servant," and a man of faith.
He said Perez went out Sunday night despite protests from his wife and father-in-law. Acevedo said Perez told his concerned family members, "We've got work to do."