Remembering Our Fallen – Officer Robert Edward Fellows and Officer Walter Edwin Rappolee, Jr. EOW: Thursday, August 22, 1968

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Officer Walter Edwin Rappolee, Jr.

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Officer Robert Edward Fellows

Officer Fellows and Officer Rappolee were crushed to death when a wall fell onto their patrol car. A large fire had destroyed a section of downtown Wichita Falls and the two officers were sitting in their patrol car in front of one of the damaged buildings when the wall collapsed and landed on top of the car.

Officer Fellows had served with the Wichita Falls Police Department for just over 4.5 years. Officer Rappolee had served with the Wichita Falls Police Department for just over 2 years.

 

Share the Road

sharetheroadThe Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway.  The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware.  Here are a few safety tips to remember:

  • Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)

Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.

  • Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)

Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.

  • At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)

One when signaling but two when turning works well.

  • Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)

Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.

  • One rider per saddle: (551.102a)

Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.

  • You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)

Racing and taking the lane are special cases.

  • Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)

The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.

  • Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)

Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.

Share the Road: Hotter’n Hell Hundred

e06f931b6976f30b4d4641edd71c83ed_400x400The Hotter’n Hell 100 is just a couple of weeks away which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway.  The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware.

Here are a few safety tips to remember:

1. Different but Equal

In all states, cyclists are deemed by law to be drivers of vehicles and are entitled to the same rights on the road as motorists. Expect cyclists on the road. Watch for cyclists on the road. Treat them as you would any slow-moving vehicle.

2. Patience, not Patients

Patience, especially on the road, is a virtue, and can save lives.

Your patience may involve:

  • Waiting until it is safe to pass a bicycle and refraining from tailgating.
  • Giving cyclists the right of way when the situation calls for it.
  • Allowing extra time for cyclists to go through intersections.
  • Recognizing road hazards that may be dangerous for cyclists and giving cyclists the necessary space to deal with them. In conditions where there is not enough room for a cyclist to ride to the right, they are allowed to ride closer to the lane of traffic, and sometimes even in the lane of traffic.

Never engage in conduct that harasses or endangers a cyclist. Above all: Be tolerant. Be understanding. Be careful.

3. A Passing Grade

Do not pass a cyclist until you can see that you can safely do so. You should allow ample space between your vehicle and the bicycle and make sure you do not place the cyclist in danger. If you pass too closely the drag from your car can pull a cyclist off course and cause the rider to swerve out of control.

4. The Right Behavior

Watch out for cyclists when you are turning right. A bicyclist may well be to the right of you and planning to go straight at the same intersection. Do not speed ahead of the bicyclist thinking you can negotiate the turn before they reach your car. The cyclist may be going faster than you think and, as you slow to make the turn, the cyclist may not be able to avoid crashing into the passenger side of your vehicle.

5. To The Left, to The Left

Also look for cyclists when making a left-hand turn. Cyclists who are crossing straight through the same intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you realize. It is particularly dangerous on a descending slope, when cyclists pick up more speed.

6. A Back-up Plan:

Bicycles, and the people who drive them, come in all shapes and sizes. When backing out of your driveway always look to see if someone is riding in your path. Children on small bikes might be hard to see. Drive slowly and look carefully.

7. Egress Etiquette

After parallel parking, make sure the coast is clear for opening the car door to exit. Make sure there are no cyclists riding alongside your car or fast approaching. By using the rear view mirrors and by turning around, a driver can spot an approaching cyclist and circumvent a disaster. A cyclist cannot anticipate when a driver will open a door, but a driver can easily detect a cyclist who may be in the line of danger.

8. Respect

Cyclists have a rightful spot on the road. Cyclists also positively impact the environment with each revolution of their wheels by opting to ride rather than drive. Do not resent cyclists. Replace frustration with a smile every time to see a cyclist.

9. Honing Your Horning Habit

Do not honk unnecessarily at cyclists. If the need does arise to honk your horn to alert a cyclist that you are about pass, do so at a respectable distance. If you are too close, the noise itself can cause a cyclist to lose his or her bearings and create a hazardous situation for both you and the cyclist.

10. Try it, You’ll Like it

If you can’t beat them, join them. Ride a bike. It may just change your life. Riding is good for you and good for your environment. At the very least, it will give you a better appreciation for the problems cyclists face everyday on the road with respect to motorists.

**CLASS IS FULL** WFPD To Host FREE Active Shooter Response Class for Citizens

CRASE LOGO WFPD

UPDATE:  THIS CLASS IS FULL.  WE WILL BE HOSTING ANOTHER ONE SOON!

The Wichita Falls Police Department will be hosting a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training on Thursday, August 15 at 6:00 pm at the Public Safety Training Center located at 710 Flood St. Class is limited to the first 50 registrants.

The CRASE course, designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) strategy developed by ALERRT in 2004, provides strategies, guidance, and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event.  This is an informative class only.  No weapons are allowed.

Along with the CRASE training the WFPD will also cover current Texas State laws pertaining to gun ownership.

The class is free and open to anyone. If you are interested in attending please click here:

https://forms.gle/4PKGrzdDwMdPKeAs9

We look forward to seeing you there.

WFPD Arrest Man for a Stolen Vehicle and Evading

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Anthony Steine

On Wednesday July 31st at approximately 10:15 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department located a stolen red 2008 Chevrolet HHR in the 5000 block of Lake Park DR.  When officers attempted to conduct a stop on the vehicle the driver refused and began to evade officers in the vehicle.

During the course of the pursuit officers were able to position themselves to deploy spike strips. The vehicle hit the strips but continued to evade until the driver struck a divider on Central Freeway.  The suspect, who was later identified as 30 year old Anthony Steine, exited the vehicle and began to run from officers.  Officers caught up to Steine and placed him into custody in the in the 1700 block of 5th Street.

Steine was transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with theft and evading.  He also had an outstanding warrant that was served as well.

WFPD Arrest Man for Aggravated Assault

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Emilio Mendoza

On Tuesday July 30th officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department arrested 22 year old Emilio Mendoza for aggravated assault.

At approximately 2:00 pm officers were dispatched to the area of Cypress and Langford in reference to a possible aggravated assault. Upon arrival they spoke with the victim who stated that Mendoza struck her vehicle, a Chrysler 300, multiple times with the vehicle that he was driving. She described the suspect vehicle as a white sedan.  The victim also stated that Mendoza pulled along side her and pointed a handgun at her.  Mendoza left the scene prior to officer’s arrival.

A record’s check revealed that Mendoza lived in the area of the 1300 block of Central Freeway East.  When officers responded to that area they located Mendoza in a white 1998 Chevrolet Lumina that had front end damage to the driver’s side.  Upon searching the vehicle officers located a 9mm magazine.

Mendoza was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with aggravated assault.

Remembering Our Fallen – Lieutenant Walter Tommy Collins EOW: July 25, 1989

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LT Walter Tommy Collins

Lieutenant Walter Tommy Collins was shot and killed while assisting other officers responding to a call involving a man firing a rifle at construction workers.

He and two other officers were wounded by the gunfire. Lieutenant Collins was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspect was apprehended and sentenced to three 99 years prison terms.

Lieutenant Collins had served with the Wichita Falls Police Department for 31 years. He is survived by his wife, three children, and mother.

WFPD Arrest Two on Burglary Charges

crime-arrestOn Monday, July 22nd, at approximately 8:47 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 1800 block of 8th in reference to a possible burglary.  Upon arrival officers located a male subject who was later identified as 37 year old Freddy Flores near a storage shed in the backyard of the complex.  When officers arrived Flores began to walk away and appeared to be signaling a second suspect.  Officers were able to detain Flores.

Officers spoke with a witness who stated that they observed Flores and a second suspect kick in the door to the shed and attempt to take a large item which was later determined to be a dehumidifier.  Officers began speaking with the owner of the property who stated that the second suspect who was identified as 27 year old Tommy Romine was in their office and he had admitted to stealing an air conditioner.  Officers located the stolen air conditioner in one of the apartments.

Both Flores and Romine were arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without further incident.  Flores was charged with burglary of a building and Romine was charged with burglary of a building as well as burglary of a habitation.

WFPD Arrest Two in Recent Rash of Vehicle Burglaries

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Anthony Bowen

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Destiny Dunbar

The City of Wichita Falls recently suffered a rash of vehicle burglaries that occurred on the Southside of the city at numerous apartment complexes. The suspects were targeting unlocked vehicles and taking various items to include checks, passports and debit/credit cards.

Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department immediately began investigating the burglaries and were able to develop multiple leads.  Warrants for 23 year old Anthony Bowen and 23 year old Destiny Dunbar were issued.  Detectives had information to believe that the suspect were in a stolen 2010 Hyundai Elantra and may be in the Archer County area.  Detectives began reaching out to surrounding law enforcement agencies.

Early this morning at approximately midnight the two suspects were located in Seymour, Texas and taken into custody for their warrants.

WFPD Detectives began to interview both Dunbar and Bowen at which time they were able to gather information that could lead to the clearing of anywhere between 25 and 50  vehicle burglaries that occurred within Wichita Falls.

Both Dunbar and Bowen were transported to the Archer County jail where they were booked in on the burglary warrants.

WFPD Detectives were able to recover the stolen 2010 Hyundai Elantra along with numerous credit/debit cards and checks.

Additional charges are pending.