Po­lice ask for pub­lic’s help with of­fi­cer’s re­cu­per­a­tion

Of­fi­cer Charles Whites is in se­ri­ous con­di­tion af­ter be­ing struck by a ve­hi­cle.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Mike Parker

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.

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