The Houston Police Officers Union named Officers Shane Borak and Ignacio Lopez as its Patrol Officers of the Month in the May general membership meeting.
The honor came based on the work of the two officers during a nighttime suspicious person call at about 10:15 p.m. on March 22 in the 8600 block of Pitner Road.
Upon arriving on the scene and meeting with the reportee, Officers Borak and Lopez they learned that a report had been made earlier in the day regarding the continuous sexual assault of a 10-year-old female child, and that the suspect was currently at the location of the alleged assaults.
However, at the time the report was made a forensic interview had not yet been conducted with the victim. Further complicating the matter was that the suspect was in this country illegally and would likely flee if he believed authorities were searching for him.
In addition, because the child lives in the same apartment and had not yet returned for the day, it was likely the suspect would suspect the child had gone to the police.
The officers, realizing they were confronted with an extremely difficult situation, began contacting various resources throughout the HPD and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for assistance.
Through numerous calls to Child Protective Services (CPS), school officials and friends of the complainant’s family, Borak and Lopez were able to make contact with the father of the child. The two officers were able to ascertain that the suspect had made threats to the life of the child and her family.
Since the officers were unable to conduct an interview with the victim to confirm the continuous sexual assault, they instead were able to gather the pertinent information for the threats the suspect made. Officer Borak contacted the DA and explained in vivid detail every facet of the case and the importance of taking this suspect into custody before he could flee the country or do more harm to the child.
At this point prosecutors accepted the charge of Terroristic Threat if the suspect could be taken into custody that night or if a to-be warrant would be filed.
Officers Borak and Lopez immediately went to the suspect’s apartment and took him into custody.
However, their exceptional work did not stop there. They notified Juvenile Sex Crimes to let them know the suspect was in custody and would need to be interviewed for the sexual assault accusations.
They took the additional step of insuring the child would be interviewed the next day and even made arrangements for transportation. Due to their thorough work, report and the resulting charges, the DA upgraded the charge of Terroristic Threat to felony Retaliation that night, likely ensuring that the suspect would stay in custody until he could be interviewed.
Detectives from JSC, based on the notifications and work of Officers Borak and Lopez, interviewed the suspect the following morning where he confessed to sexually assaulting the child over a five-month period, which he was subsequently charged for. In addition, the child was forensically interviewed and received much needed resources from the Children’s Assessment Center.
Through the exceptional work of Officers Borak and Lopez that included their attention to detail and their unrelenting commitment to the protection of our community, a violent sexual predator was removed from our streets and a child saved from future trauma or possibly worse.