Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

December 13, 2012

‘Officer of the Year’ nabs alleged burglar

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville's 2012 Officer Of The Year apprehended an alleged serial burglar out of Tarrant County Wednesday – following a spirited car and foot chase that ended with a slight scuffle.

Officer Chase Berryhill, on the force since November 2010, was in rare form this week, city officials enthused.

"This gives you some clue as to why he was named Officer Of The Year," said Chief Reece Daniel. "He's young, he stays in shape, and he's a member of our SWAT Team."

The alleged burglar, identified by police as Heriberto Palacios, 35, was apparently hiding in Jacksonville while evading capture from a July burglary warrant out of Tarrant County.

Wednesday's chase started shortly before 1:30 p.m.  at a home in the 100 block of Hall Street. A couple who lived there arrived to discover the burglar inside.

The suspect then fled, followed by the male homeowner, who called police as he followed. Officer Berryhill arrived on the scene and gave chase.

The pursuit became a vehicle chase, with the suspect driving a small Honda four-door sedan and Berryhill behind the wheel of a Ford Police Interceptor.

The foot and vehicle chase lasted four minutes.

"It was a long chase," the chief said. "Four minutes might not sound like a long time, but for a chase it really is."

At one point, the suspect sideswiped a car, police said.

It became a foot chase after the suspect made a u-turn by Cherokee Wrecker on North Gillespie. The suspect climbed out of his vehicle and fled,  followed by the officer.

"The officer caught him and recovered all the property from the burglary," the chief said.

The suspect faces at least one second degree felony house burglary charge from the Jack-sonville PD, a state jail felony fleeing charge, and assorted charges stemming from running eight red lights and various stop signs.

Berryhill is the same officer involved in a recent county chase during which shots were fired.

He was named 2012 Officer Of the Year at the city's Christmas Party on Monday night, said City Manager Mo Raissi.

It's strange that all this action happened to one person all in one week, the chief said.

"Today was his first on day shift and the first thing that happened to him was this chase," the chief said.

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