Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 13 years, 5 months
Badge # 2280
Cause: Vehicular assault
Weapon: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Offender: Sentenced to ten years
About 7:15 a.m. on March 29 Solo Officer Winston J. Rawlins was working freeway patrol when he was struck by a truck during a traffic stop and pinned under a vehicle. The vehicle caught fire and Officer Rawlins was burned to death.
At 8:30 p.m. the same day Solo Officer William E. (Ponce) DeLeon was working radar on the Southwest Freeway. His partner Solo Officer J.W. Dunbar was passed by a vehicle exceeding 87 mph and Officer Dunbar radioed to Officer DeLeon to clock the car on radar. Before Officer Dunbar could activate his red lights, the car swerved into Officer DeLeon and his police motorcycle. Officer DeLeon died at the scene. The driver was stopped 3/10ths of a mile from the scene.
The driver was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Officer DeLeon was survived by his wife, two children, two step-children, his parents, a sister and a brother. He was buried in the Field of Honor at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.