Officer Hartman’s intuition leads to multiple arrests, Earning him October Investigator of Month honors

Tom Kennedy

The HPOU honored Officer Chris Hartman as Investigator of the Month at the October general membership meeting.

Sgt. Kevin McDaniel of the Narcotics Division nominated Hartman and detailed the circumstances that “peaked” Hartman’s investigative interest when he was having lunch near a Wendy’s in the Willowbrook area. Hartman was in plain clothes at the time.

He began to surveil two males when he “heard multiple gun shots in rapid succession and saw one male fall to the ground.”

Hartman saw a male he believed to be the shooter get into the back seat of a fleeing vehicle and followed the vehicle, radioed for assistance and continued the careful pursuit to an apartment complex in Harris County.

The suspect got out of the vehicle while two other occupants remained. The latter two were pulled over by Officer C. Speck as they tried to drive out of the complex. SWAT Officer Pat Straker was also at the scene in an unmarked vehicle.

Hartman followed the suspect to an apartment as a Harris County deputy arrived at the scene. The two law enforcement officials proceeded to arrest the suspect and two others as they attempted to leave the apartment unit.

“Officer Hartman,” McDaniel said in his nomination, “acquired a consent to search the apartment, where he located the pistol used in the shooting, as well as a pump shotgun, marijuana, Xanax and $1,644 in cash.

All five suspects were taken to the Homicide Division where they were interviewed and investigators determined these suspects were the same ones involved in an earlier shooting at Highway 290 and Eldridge.

Charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against the shooter and possession of a controlled substance against a female suspect. Later, charges of possession of a controlled substance involved another male suspect.

The shooting victim was recovering from leg wounds.

“I believe that Officer Hartman’s intuition as a police officer, combined with his ability to maintain visual surveillance on the suspect vehicle without being detected and ability to put together a complex case that led to multiple felony arrests makes him worthy of the HPOU’s Investigator of the Month,” Sgt. McDaniel effectively stated.