WITH AUDIO OF POLICE CALLS: Chief explains officer’s actions

What happened during traffic stop?
Scott Seitz
Jun 29, 2013

Greenwich Police Chief Steve Dorsey explained in detail Friday the June 1 actions of Officer Aaron Smith.

At 12:30 a.m. that morning, Smith, on normal patrol, stopped a 2004 Dodge Stratus driven by Misael Lopez and Hiram Emmanuel Lopez, brothers and suspects in the Baseline Road murder of Daniel Jacinto Hernandez, possibly a short time before they were stopped.

After briefly taking one of the Lopez brothers into custody, Smith let the pair go after they produced a Texas driver’s license and became cooperative.

“The reason for the traffic stop was speeding,” Dorsey said in a news release, adding the Lopezes were clocked at 8 mph more than the speed limit.
Dorsey stressed that at the time of the traffic stop, Smith did not know the Lopez brothers were suspects in a homicide

“Officer Smith did question the driver about blood on his arm,” the chief said, adding the brothers indicated it was paint from earlier work.

“Officer Smith could have been easily injured or killed by the two suspects,” Dorsey said. “What was the probably cause to detain them any longer? As far as Officer Smith (knew), it was a traffic stop for a speed violation, not a homicide that had not been reported yet.”

Dorsey noted Smith then was on vacation from June 3 to 13 and did not know Huron County had a homicide or that he had stopped the actual suspects that night.

“He learned of the homicide when the sheriff’s department called him on June 14,” he said. “Officer Smith called off back-up because they (suspects) started to be cooperative and speaking in English and produced a driver’s license.”

Dorsey said he’s OK with how the situation was handled.

“I look at it as a positive break that the sheriff’s department has received by Officer Smith’s traffic stop, to help solve the homicide case,” the chief said. “I am thankful that Officer Smith was not hurt or that he did not have to use deadly force to protect himself from a crime he had no knowledge about until June 14.”

Look for a much more detailed and full response from Dorsey and Smith in Monday’s issue.

Comments

jumparound77

How can you take somebody in custody and then let them go? This county is starting to have some major issues with cops.

JACKEL

Yea,and if he would have arrested them The Libs would crying profiling.You brought it on yourselves.

enough of the bs

Well this can't be, this is a reasonable explanation for something that is no longer newsworthy. I'm sure if you check maybe in the past other interaction with law enforcement can be found with these two suspects, let's vilify those agencies for not checking with their "Minority Report" divisions to prevent this murder from happening as well. Anything to sell a paper...

thetruthofthematter

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Karma Watcher

Sounds like a reasonable explanation. Now days the only people who know the truth are those directly involved. The media and or police cover up stories just add doubt to any explanation. So sad.

Sitting In The ...

What were they painting red at midnight a fire truck? then after missing multiple indicators he says "well you gentlemen have a good night"

2008HD

So what is the S.O. trying to proven now? lol

AnAmerican

The usual, trying to deflect their "response" and lack of an arrest in the murder; by attacking Greenwich PD it takes some of the responsibility and attention off of them.

Fibber Mcgee

First things first, Greenwich PD must get better radios... If this turned bad, there is no way Officer Smith would have gotten any back-up.
I still don't understand why a deputy didn't follow thru and at least come into town and talked with Smith. I know Smith said to have the deputy back off, but still they were close. just curious.

I_wonder

What agency does Greenwich us for running registrations? The SO isn't it? Isn't radio traffic logged somewhere? Find the answers to this questions and you'll see why the deflection

Uputwhatwhere7

So we are trying to lay the blame on the sheriffs office who we have cut funds and personnel? Hmmm, seems to me if we want to lay the blame on anyone it would be the tax payers who voted. Don't want proper protection? Keep voting the way you do!

AnAmerican

The Sheriff's Office budget, last year and this year, has never been higher. Road patrol is up from two to four again and they have more vehicles than they know what to do with. Don't buy into all the articles and complaints by that department claiming to be poor, it just isn't so.
Remember, all county departments LIVE within their budget and allocate their line items and funds as they see fit.

Onemanforce

Ok. Dried up paint looks NOTHING like dried up blood. Trust me, I've seen plenty and blood that's dried up I very recognizable. The fact of the matter is Ofc. Smith made the most common (an often fatal mistake) of complacency! After a suspect hides from you and you observe dried blood on on of the guys arms, not to mention the "Language barrier" the Lopezes were faking to have, you call off your back up???!!!! Just look up the video of the shooting death of Constable Longsforth in Texas years ago. The Constable was overpowered and shoot with his own gun by three Hispanic makes. THEY PLOTTED THE WHOLE THING IN FRONT OF HIM!!!! And Ofc. Smith called off his back up?!?!! Whether he had knowledge of the murder or not, common sense and THE TRAINING HE HAD/SHOULD HAVE HAD, this is a FUBAR traffic stop. You don't call back up off!!!! You get other guys there and then call Border Patrol to check that Texas license. Wow!!!!! I'm not thinking "Dirty Cop". I'm thinking severe lack of training or COMPLACENCY. Chief, you are lucky you don't have a dead cop in your hands and a grieving family to whom to answer. Good luck GPD. If you continue to allow this behavior during traffic stops, things may be worse next time. GPD OFFICERS: PLEASE USE YOUR HEADS AND PAY ATTENTION TI THE HAIRS IN THE BACK OF YOUR NECK. If something doesn't look right: IT ISN'T RIGHT AND YOU NEED TO DIG DEEPER THAN A SIMPLE TRAFFIC VIOLATION!!!!!!! WOW!!!!

OneLocalVoice

Well said!

B-5

Its all just a big cover up to save his A**

ThomasJefferson

Have to agree with Onemanforce...I am sure that the racial profiling lawsuit in this area is in the back of every officers' mind when they pull over Hispanics, but it seems to me they all but had a neon sign flashing above their heads that read, "Something is not right here". I had an officer tell me that it is not even worth their time to write tickets for offenses involving illegal aliens, because they are never charged or pursued. Really sad situation when someone without a valid drivers license seems to have more rights than someone with one....really sad.

HBK

I couldn't agree more. With all the red flags going off in this situation, this officer was wrong to call off his backup. Hell, I can't even drive with a suspended licence without 4 cops showing up on the scene. Now, the Chief want's to pat this cop on the back? Come on Dorsey, is it really that hard to say your officer is wrong, and your department dropped the ball on this one? I believe the honesty would earn you more respect, just sayin...