Houston Police Department helicopter crew honored at the Houston Astros game on July 1, 2016, for their heroic arrest. Photo courtesy of Twitter/Houston Police Department.
June 28, 2016, is a date that Sgt. Steven Borgstedte will never forget. On that Tuesday afternoon, a 911 call reported a burglary in process, and police officers from the Houston Police Department (HPD) responded with their sirens blaring.
Two suspects drove off trying to evade their attempts to arrest them. During the chase two suspects later identified as Henriearl Hill and Joshua Clark ran from their vehicle. Hill wearing the red shirt fled into an open grassy field. Despite a HPD SUV side-swiping Hill, he still managed to get away.
A HPD helicopter crew hovered above the field to monitor the situation. They even tried to get Hill to surrender by maneuvering their helicopter just two to three feet off the ground to block his escape. When every tactic had failed, helicopter pilot Jeff Serpas and tactical flight officer Steven Borgstedte had enough.
“We’ve already talked about this while we’re flying,” pilot Serpas said. “You’ve got to realize we are circling this for a while.”
Serpas set the chopper down while Borgstedte unbuckled his seatbelt and sprinted after Hill. Borgstedte was still wearing his white helmet when he slammed into him.
“Once I tackled him on the ground, he got up and started resisting,” Borgstedte remembered, as he put his hands up as if they were going to fistfight. “My weapon became disabled in the struggle, so I got rid of it and fought him until the other officer helped me take him into custody.”
Hill and Clark were apprehended thanks to their heroic efforts. On July 1, 2016, the Houston Astros baseball team honored the officers as Hometown Heroes. They were presented personal Louisville Slugger baseball bats at the ballpark as a token of appreciation.
Matt Fratus is a history staff writer for Coffee or Die. He prides himself on uncovering the most fascinating tales of history by sharing them through any means of engaging storytelling. He writes for his micro-blog @LateNightHistory on Instagram, where he shares the story behind the image. He is also the host of the Late Night History podcast. When not writing about history, Matt enjoys volunteering for One More Wave and rooting for Boston sports teams.