A man has been accused of car theft after two officers were injured, one of them seriously, when the suspect and lawmen plowed into a ditch during a chase in south Houston early Tuesday morning.
The wreck occurred in the 3200 block of Almeda Genoa near Scott about 4 a.m., according to the Houston Police Department.
The officers, Jason Roy and Gerald Meola Jr., were rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital, police said.
Police said Roy, sworn in as an officer in February 2007, has a serious neck injury. After several hours in surgery, Roy was released to the hospital's intensive care unit later Tuesday.
Doctors determined that up to four bones in his neck were broken in the crash, HPD officials said.
"He's likely going to require extensive rehabilitation, which could be up to a year or more," said HPD spokesman John Cannon.
Roy also will undergo additional surgeries in the coming days, Cannon said.
Meola, sworn in as an officer in November 2006, was treated for minor injuries and is expected to be released soon.
Police identified the suspect as Frederick Anthony Davis. He is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest, HPD officials said.
Davis, 18, of Houston, is being held in the Harris County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail, according to county records.
Mayor Annise Parker and Police Chief Charles McClelland visited the hospital to check on the officers.
The chase began after the officers, members of HPD's Gang Division Crime Reduction Unit, spotted a 1997 Ford Taurus that they suspected was stolen.
Davis, who was driving the car, sped away and the officers followed. At some point during the brief chase, Davis and the officers lost control of their cars.
The squad car careened into the ditch and rolled over. The car Davis drove also veered into the ditch. Davis jumped out and ran.
Other officers followed him and took him into custody. A female passenger in the car with Davis remained at the crash site.
Police said she has not been charged in the case.
Mike Glenn contributed to this report. firstname.lastname@example.org