Union recognizes officers Derry, Salazar and Perez For their work in tracking down and arresting suspects

Tom Kennedy
Union recognizes officers Derry, Salazar and Perez

For their work in tracking down and arresting suspects  

The HPOU recognized Officers Thomas Derry, Manny Salazar and Rick Perez as the Patrol Officers of the Month in the December general membership meeting.

The awards were presented by HPOU’s Luis Menendez-Sierra.

Sgt. J. C. Perales nominated the three, saying that Derry, who is assigned to the Southeast Division Tactical Unit, was known for his diligence in the apprehension of two violent aggravated robbery suspects.

The sergeant credited Derry’s knowledge and experience in fighting crime in Southeast. He said Derry often mentors younger officers and gets them familiar with crime patterns and the cooks that implement them.

Last July 29, Derry and Perez responded to a convenience store robbery in 6800 Cullen in which the 49-year-old store owner was pistol whipped and ordered to open his safe. The suspects included one armed man and his lookout. The prime suspect threatened to kill the storekeeper if he didn’t cooperate and struck the man, causing him to bleed from the head, wounds that resulted in stitches later on.

The victim recognized one suspect whom he thought was known as “Scooter,” whose mask fell off when he struck the blows.

     Perales said, “Officer Derry recalled dealing with a suspect with a ‘Scoota’ tattoo in the past as a known gang member of the Bloods in the Southeast area. Officers Derry and Perez began an extensive search of the Houston Police Department database and discovered information ‘Billy at 6802 Cullen.’

“Officers checked the Gang Tracker Database for the name and located the suspect’s photographs. The photographs of the suspect revealed Billy Brookins has a tattoo on his upper left arm that reads ‘Scoota.’

“Officer Derry instructed Officer Perez on how to create a photo array on the Houston Police Department Data Works System. Officers Derry and Perez then showed the photo array to the victim who positively identified Billy Brookins as the person who robbed him at gunpoint and pistol whipped him.”
Perales said officers obtained an Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon charge on suspect Brookins. Derry followed up with Robbery Division and was advised that Brookins was also a possible suspect in 10 other robberies. Derry and Perez worked with Robbery to gather more information as it became available.

Brookins, who fled to Florida, was arrested on Aug. 14 for the outstanding robbery warrant. The suspect was then extradited back to Harris County.

After further investigation Derry was able to identify another suspect known as “Terry” as Jonas Terry. He created a photo array for the suspect who acted as the lookout in the robbery. The victim positively identified this second suspect.

Derry then began training Officer Salazar, a new officer to the SE TAC unit. Derry patiently brought Salazar up to speed on the procedures of filing an aggravated robbery warrant on the second suspect Terry.

On Aug. 26, Derry and Salazar, with the assistance of the Southeast Gang Task Force, served the felony warrant and arrested Jonas Terry without incident.

“This is just one example of the outstanding work that Houston police officers perform on a daily basis,” Perales said. “Had it not been for the officers’ timely response and quick actions, the suspects would have continued to commit more egregious crimes in the city of Houston.

“Officer Derry’s due diligence and commitment to this investigation resulted in the arrest of two dangerous felons which have been removed from our community and brought to justice, making Houston a safer place to live and work.

“More importantly these arrests brought the victim closure and a sense of security that the suspects were no longer on the streets.”