Former Texas cop indicted on manslaughter after firing 41 shots at suspect after pursuit
A grand jury indicted a former Texas police officer Monday on a manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect following a high-speed pursuit.
A judge set bond Tuesday at $100,000 for 33-year-old Patrick Tuter, who’s accused of firing 41 shots at 25-year-old Michael Allen Vincent following a half-hour chase on Aug. 31, 2012.
Investigators said Tuter, who stopped to reload twice, struck Allen three times, killing him.
Garland police fired Tuter earlier this year after finding that he’d violated the department’s use-of-force and pursuit policies, and Judge Lena Levario noted that and a previous violation in setting his bond well above the typical $25,000 amount for manslaughter.
“I’m not concerned about whether he is going to return to court or not,” the judge said. “I’m concerned about public safety.”
Levario pointed out that the other officer did not fire and hid behind his patrol car during the fusillade, although defense attorneys claim the other officer was never in any real danger.
The chase began just after midnight when Tuter spotted a white GMC pickup that had been involved in an earlier chase with Sasche police.
Garland police tried to stop the pickup, but Allen fled as Dallas County sheriff’s deputies joined the chase, which reached speeds up to 100 mph.
Allen turned in to a cul-de-sac, where police initially said he turned around and hit a squad car as officers tried to box him in.
But dashboard camera video showed that Tuter struck Allen’s pickup with his squad car and then shot him to death.
Witnesses said officers gave Allen less than 3 seconds after ordering him out of his pickup before opening fire, striking the vehicle at least 20 times.
A police dog then pulled Allen from the vehicle, and officers flipped him onto his stomach and placed him in handcuffs before checking his pulse, witnesses said.
A 20-year-old woman in the pickup was not injured.
A neighbor said police confiscated his cell phone and deleted pictures and video he shot of the incident but returned the device four days later.
As a condition of his bail, Tuter can’t work as a police officer or hold any job that requires him to use a weapon.
Watch this video report posted online by KVUE-TV: