Police pursuit pushes 110
Chase begins with shots fired at motorcyclist
and officer; no one hurt in incident
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTS–Investigators are trying to learn what caused
Stephen Dhein, 44, of Richardson, to fire on a motorcyclist,
evade police, fire shots at an officer and lead officers on a
high-speed chase through Seven Points to Powell last Sunday.
In the meantime, Dhein is cooling his heels in the Henderson
County jail with bonds totaling $1,000,000.
Seven Points police officer Matthew Greiner was dispatched Dec.
11 to stop the driver of a 2006 Toyota Highlander headed west on
State Highway 334 for shooting at a motorcycle rider near the
Walmart store in Gun Barrel City. Greiner’s been in law
enforcement for a mere 11 months. Though not his first car
chase, it was his most dangerous assignment to date.
Moments after responding to the call at 4 p.m. on a Sunday
afternoon, Greiner became the target of the fleeing motorist.
At first, the suspect pulled over into the parking lot near
Buy-Lo Auto Parts in Seven Points, but when Greiner approached
the vehicle, the driver speeded away, firing off a shot or two,
The chase followed Farm-to-Market 85, becoming FM 1129, which
comes out onto State Highway 31 in Powell. Not only was Greiner
chasing him, so was the motorcycle victim who initiated the
9-1-1 call, reporting having been shot at twice by the suspect.
Assisting agencies joined the chase about a mile out of Powell;
and Navarro County Sheriff’s deputies laid puncture strips ahead
of the chase near the 31 junction. However, Dhein kept driving
his vehicle with deflated tires through the roadblock until he
struck a power pole. A handgun was recovered from the vehicle
and Dhein was found to be the sole occupant.
Dhein was taken by ambulance to the Navarro Regional Hospital
and from there he was airlifted to Parkland Hospital. Greiner
reported that excessive alcohol-use was a factor in Dhein’s
condition and need for hospitalization. Dhein remained at
Parkland until Tuesday, when he was transferred to the Henderson
Throughout the incident, no incapacitating injuries resulted.
“He did extremely well,” Seven Points police chief Curt Koger
said of officer Greiner’s handling of the incident. “No citizens
or officers were hurt.” No one received any gunshot wounds, he
The chase lasted about 20 minutes and reached speeds of 110 mph,
while the suspect drove erratically and passed other vehicles on
the roadway, Greiner told The Monitor.
“We’re thankful for the help from assisting agencies in the safe
ending of the chase and the suspect behind bars,” Koger added.
Assisting agencies included the Tool and Kerens police
departments, Department of Public Safety troopers and Navarro
County Sheriff’s deputies.
The investigation is ongoing in the case against Dhein, who
already has a lengthy criminal record, Koger reported. Dhein is
charged with evading arrest/detention with a motor vehicle and
aggravated assault against a public servant.
City adopts first noise ordinance
Council says, ‘Yes,’ to 24/7 police patrols
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE-The Eustace City Council unanimously adopted the city’s
first excessive noise ordinance to back up police officers
responding to complaints late at night. “It’s a standard
ordinance that’s been tweaked to apply to Eustace,” mayor Elicia
Sanders said. The ordinance empowers police officers to issue
citations for overly loud noise between the hours of 9 p.m. and
6 a.m. The citation could cost up to $500 and the offense is
classified as a Class C misdemeanor, police chief Troy Tucker
Council members also beefed up the police force by agreeing to
add a fourth officer to provide 24-hour patrols within the city,
approving spending up to $12,000 for a chief’s vehicle and
rehabilitating the building inhabited by the police department
to provide a secure area to hold court.
Funds for renovating the building for court have been
accumulating in a mandated building security fund that has
nothing to do with the city budget. The fund is fueled from a
variety of sources and totals $9,600, Sanders reported. The
building needs electrical upgrades and modifications to make it
compliant with the Americans with Disability Act, in addition to
other security considerations, council members heard.
The 2012 fiscal year budget planned for a fourth full-time
officer and a part-time officer, Sanders added. “The budget can
handle it,” she said. Chief Tucker outlined a hiring process
that includes posting the opening with The Municipal League,
doing a thorough background check of applicants, and a review
board to make three unanimous recommendations. One of the four
board members will be the police department sergeant, he added.
The chief will choose one of the three based on interviews with
the applicants, he said. “I feel we could get a quality officer
in this way,” he added. He also mentioned that his Reserve
Officers would also be qualified to apply. The chief would put
his choice under contract, with the standard three-month
probationary period, at which point the council would be asked
to ratify the department’s newest hire.
“I’d like to hire someone no later than by the next council
meeting,” Tucker said. As part of his report, Tucker mentioned a
rising number of burglaries and reports of prowlers late at
night, when the city hasn’t been covered by a patrol officer.
As for the purchase of a chief’s vehicle, the current 2003 Chevy
Trailblazer has become inadequate, Tucker said. “I’d like to
sell it to the water department for its Blue Book value of
$5,000 and use that to purchase another car with less mileage
that could also act as a backup to a patrol car, when needed,”
The Trailblazer has 120,000 miles on it and is no good as a
pursuit vehicle any longer, he added. Utility director Gene
Burns said his department could use another vehicle to increase
productivity and to be used to transport stray animals to the
animal shelter in Tool. “It’s nice that it already has a light
bar on it too, just need to switch out the red for an amber
light,” Burns said.
The council saw the idea as a win-win proposition and
unanimously approved the action, adding a $12,000 ceiling on the
purchase of another used vehicle for the police department.
In other business, council members:
• agreed to keep its elections in May as is and pay the extra
$800 in even-numbered years to lease voting equipment from a
source other than the county. Henderson County has informed the
city and local school boards that due to a change in federal and
state voting rules regarding timing, it could no longer
guarantee that it would have equipment available for lease in
even-numbered years. This lines up with similar action taken by
Eustace ISD, who is mandated by law to share voting staff and
equipment with the municipality within the district, Sanders
• accepted recommendations from the utility director to increase
the water tap fees on one- and two-inch lines that more closely
reflect actual costs. Until now, water taps of any size were
generally billed at $800 a tap, Burns said. “However, at that
price we’re losing $400 on every larger-size tap,” he said. New
fees are set at $1,200 for one-inch taps and $1,500 for two-inch
• reappointed the current members of the Board of Adjusters to
make recommendations regarding variances to zoning and building
• learned that as long as the city is paying down a low-interest
government loan backed by property tax as collateral, they are
unable to grant de-annexations. The city has at least one USDA
loan of about $500,000, Sanders said. Marla Swann of 12300 N.
Holland had submitted a de-annexation request.
• moved the next scheduled city council meeting from Jan. 5,
2012 to Jan. 12, 2012, in light of the city hall being closed on
the second, when an agenda for the meeting would need to be
• heard balances after payment of the bills for the general fund
totaled $74,624 and in the water fund totaled $122,540. As
decided last month, $50,000 from the water fund will be
transferred into a money-making reserve account and $15,000 from
the general fund balance will also be transferred to a similar
account, so as to always leave a balance of $50,000 for
Three groups split $65,000
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–For the last few years, fees collected in the Family
Protection account of Kaufman County have been adding up – to
The fund is designated to benefit specific child services.
Monday, Kaufman County Commissioners agreed to divide the money
equally, among The Genesis Center, The Kaufman Children’s Center
and CASA (Children’s Appointed Special Advocate).
“From now on the account will be divided and paid out on a
yearly basis,” Judge Bruce Wood said.
In other business, commissioners:
• appointed 2012 board members for the Kaufman County Veteran’s
Memorial Park Board.
They are Wayne Gent, James Crouch, James R. “Dick” Neal, Richard
“Dick” Bramblitt, Johnny Countryman and Danny Booth.
Current board members are Ray Raymond, who has asked to step
down, Crouch, Neal, Joe T. Rogers (retired) and Grady Carroll
• approved the deputation of William S. Spoon for the Sheriff’s
• approved a list of 2012 county holidays.
• heard the state legislature has approved an additional
$5,167,868 to fund the NorthStar program, a string of mental
health organizations serving Dallas and Kaufman counties and the
Fort Worth area.
• awarded contract to Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP
of Austin for delinquent tax collection. The 20 percent
collection fee will be paid by the delinquent taxpayer. Though
commissioners unanimously approved the action, Wood opposed the
• heard the Children’s Shelter served nine children in
September, 11 in October and in November, 21 clients were
served. Nine clients in November came from Tarrant County,
director LaReta Williams reported.
• accepted the FY 2011 chapter 59 Assess Forfeiture Report by
law enforcement agency of the Sheriff’s Department.
• approved additional funds amounting to $5,125 for the repairs
of the Lower East Fork Laterals No. 7, project and amended the
• accepted a donation of $115 from Oak Hollow Home Owners
Association for road repairs to Oak Hollow, Precinct 4.
• re-appointed Dr. Lisa Jones and Bill Penner as commissioners
of the Emergency Service District No. 5.
• accepted the auditor’s report as present.
The extensive document will be available for reading throughout
the week in Wood’s office, Hal D. Jones said.
• approved voice and data installations for offices and training
room designated for occupancy at the Armory,
• approved securing the Armory with monitoring activity by the
• approved advertising for bids for annual contract for office
• approved advertising for bids for a contract for various road
Bids will be opened at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.
• renewed the annual contract with 3D Mechanical Services for
• authorized purchasing agent to spend up to $25,000 on any one
purchase order, without bringing the item to commissioners for
approval. The move adds $10,000 to the current $15,000
limitation. The state limit is $50,000.
• paid bills totaling $705,327.49.