Police ask for public’s help with officer’s recuperation
Officer Charles Whites is in serious condition after being struck by a vehicle.
A Round Rock police organization is asking for help as one of its own fights for his life.
Charles Whites, an 18-year veteran of the Round Rock Police Department, remains in serious condition after being struck by a vehicle Feb. 25.
Whites was directing traffic at the scene of a pedestrian death on Interstate 35 when police said Raul Martinez, 65, did not react quickly enough to Whites’ commands and drove into him, according to an arrest affidavit.
The affidavit says Whites suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung and bleeding in his brain from the incident.
Martinez faces an intoxication assault charge after police learned that prior to the crash he had taken twice the prescribed amount of a drug used for seizures, the affidavit says. Police said he acted sluggish and had slurred speech after hitting Whites.
If found guilty, Martinez could receive up to 99 years in prison.
Last week, Sgt. Eric Mount spoke about Whites’ willingness to volunteer and help his fellow officers. Mount, who is Whites’ supervisor, joined the Round Rock police force just a couple years before Whites.
“He cares about people,” Mount said of Whites. “He is very much an emotional person, and he liked to work with folks in crisis.”
Whites volunteered for the Police Department’s hostage negotiator team, Mount said, and is involved in a peer support group for police officers. Outside of work, Mount said White is an avid hiker and has a “second-to-none” vocabulary.
“We make jokes about him going on an episode of ‘Jeopardy!,’ ” he said.
Since the incident, the Round Rock Police Officers Association created a relief fund for Whites. Donations can be made online at roundrockrelief. firstresponderprocessing.com. As of Friday, the effort has raised more than $9,000 with a target of raising $50,000.
Mount said the community has stepped up in helping Whites in his time of need.
“They’ve never let me down,” said Mount, who grew up in Round Rock. “They’ve sent flowers and prayers from the faith community. That has made a big impact on (Whites’) family.”
Mount said he hopes to see Whites recuperate and rejoin the police force.
“We’re hoping to get our friend back,” he said.
Round Rock police officer Charles Whites.