Police Officer Eydelmen Mani Houston Police Department Texas

Photograph: Police Officer Eydelmen Mani Patch image: Houston Police Department, Texas

Police Officer Eydelmen Mani
Houston Police Department
Texas

End of Watch: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 30
Tour of Duty: 7 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Eydelmen Mani was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a call at approximately 11:30 pm. He was traveling on the North Freeway access road, near Troy Road, when his patrol car struck a guardrail and overturned.
Rescue crews extricated him from the vehicle and transported him to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
Officer Mani had served with the Houston Police Department for seven years. He is survived by his wife and 3-year-old child.

Agency Contact Information
Houston Police Department
1200 Travis Street
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 308-3200
Please contact the Houston Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

www.chron.com

A Houston police officer died of injuries Wednesday after crashing his squad car into a guardrail on a north Houston freeway while rushing to join fellow officers chasing a suspected car thief.

Officer Eydelmen Mani, 30, died at Memorial Hermann Hospital-The Texas Medical Center, where he had been in critical condition since the crash the previous night. Hospital officials lowered the U.S. and Texas flags to half-staff outside the emergency room entrance a few minutes before the Houston Police Department officer’s death was announced shortly after noon.

Houston police officials, citing their ongoing investigation, would not provide specific details about the accident, including the speed reached by the officer’s unit or whether he was wearing a seat belt. They said the impact was severe enough to break the front seat of the vehicle.

Investigators said the accident occurred at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday as the officer was northbound on the feeder road of Interstate 45 north near Rosamond, attempting to catch up to an ongoing chase of a fleeing auto theft suspect. Mani apparently lost control of his cruiser and it veered left into a grassy median, hit a sign and then slammed into a guardrail.

“He was not actively engaged in the chase, he was trying to catch up to the chase,“ said Capt. Victor Rodriguez, who heads HPD’s North Patrol Division where Mani was assigned for the last six years.

Suspect in custody

Rodriguez said patrol officers were chasing a suspected car thief who had walked onto a north Houston car lot, broken into one of the cars for sale and fled in it. Mani had been called to assist the officers in the pursuit.

Police have identified the suspect as Ronald Eugene Collins, 31. He is in custody, charged with evading arrest and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Collins is not expected to be charged in relation to Mani’s death since the officer was not directly involved in the pursuit, an HPD spokesman said.

Outside the hospital on Wednesday, HPD Chief Charles McClelland reminded citizens not to take for granted the sacrifices officers such as Mani make.

“Today is a very difficult and sad day for the Houston Police Department and the citizens of Houston. We have just lost one of our own,” he said. “I just want to say that my heartfelt sympathy goes out to officer Mani’s family and loved ones, and I ask all Houstonians to keep his family and the Houston Police Department in their thoughts and prayers.”

100 units of blood

Flanked by two dozen uniformed officers and police officials, McClelland thanked hospital doctors and medical staff for their extensive fight to save the patrolman’s life. More than 100 units of blood were used during the effort, and the officer was eventually taken off of life support equipment.

McClelland noted traffic accidents are a leading cause of police fatalities.

“If you look at all the men and women who are killed across the nation in the line of duty, more officers are actually killed in traffic accidents than by gunshots or other deadly weapons,” he said.

In the hospital parking lot, a half-dozen officers from Mani’s patrol division had gathered and were standing off by themselves. None wanted to talk to reporters.

“He was very well respected,“ said Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officer’s Union, who was with the group.

Capt. Rodriguez said Mani was known for his quiet but supportive manner.

“He was the kind of officer that … sat in the back of the room during roll call — didn’t say a word — and quietly went about doing his job,“ Rodriguez said. “But even though he was quiet, from … talking to his fellow officers, he had a quiet strength that they knew they could depend and rely on. It was exemplified by his actions today.”

Mani was a Houston native who was one of 11 children raised on the city’s north side. He joined HPD in May 2003 and worked in the North Patrol Division for the last six years, Rodriguez said. Mani was married and the father of a 3-year-old son.

Mayor Annise Parker, who led a prayer for Mani during a city council meeting Wednesday morning, said she visited his wife at the hospital at 1:30 a.m., about an hour after she learned of the accident.

“My sincere condolences go out to Officer Mani’s family for their tragic loss today,“ Parker said. “He fought for his life for many hours since very early this morning, and knew he had the support of the entire Houston police force behind him. His perseverance to protect and serve for the greater good of the entire Houston community will be remembered by us all. May he now rest in peace.”

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