SAN ANGELO, TX – A deranged suspect was shot with a bean bag round and a doused with a fire extinguisher by San Angelo Police Officers on Monday afternoon after he poured gasoline in hopes to evade arrest.
According to the San Angelo Police Department, On Mar. 14, 2023, at 4:08 p.m., officers responded to 1901 W. Beauregard Avenue, The El Patio, for an unknown disturbance. Officers arrived within two minutes and located the suspect causing the disturbance, later identified as 36-year-old Delfino Hill. Hill fled on foot before officers could detain him.
Over the next hour and a half, officers chased Hill in the nearby area, losing sight of him numerous times, but eventually located him in the 1300 block of Hill Street.
During the pursuit, Hill found a gas can, and when confronted by officers, he doused himself in gasoline while holding a lighter in his right hand. Officers began to try to negotiate with Hill to persuade him to surrender.
However, Hill refused to surrender. Officers then deployed a tactical plan that included using a less lethal shotgun (beanbag round) and discharging a fire extinguisher. This plan required quick reaction timing while exposing the officers involved to a significant risk of injury.
Officers deployed one beanbag round to the stomach area of Hill while simultaneously spraying him with a fire extinguisher. These combined actions prevented Hill from igniting himself, which saved him from severe injury or death.
Once in custody, Hill received medical treatment for minor injuries and was eventually charged with evading arrest or detention with a prior conviction.
I have been focusing quite intently on failures of police recently and this event did not escape my notice. As a lifelong resident, I can recall another situation where a San Angelo man doused himself with gasoline and the situation didn't end in a positive way when police arrived. I could be wrong from memory, I believe the event occurred in 2007. With time, given similar circumstances, S.A.P.D. performed drastically different. I believe it is because the amount of turmoil the prior circumstance left everyone in the city and police department. Obviously, we were heard as the people, the practices have changed and yielded results... Not results that can bring back restoration of the lives lost, but of the trust between law enforcement and the citizen, for those of us who remain after tragedy strikes a place as small as San Angelo. I don't personally know what officers are involved in the beanbag incident... It could be some of them are men whom I've an ill opinion of when it comes to the performance of their duties and it may not. Either way, it stands to note, while many misdeeds have occurred and inevitably will occur in the future as government and citizen collide, change can happen, through positive, pro-active efforts, or post-incident breakdowns and training. I can't take away from the positive change I see in these regards from our men and women of law enforcement. I hope to see more positive outcomes like this one. Maybe my perspective stretches out too far and connects too loosely for some peoples taste's, maybe what I speak rings true to some native folk who can remember what I'm referencing. I used to read the paper in the morning before my shift at the convenience store back in '06, '07. I always thought, why taze a man covered in gasoline? I don't know who was involved in that ordeal, I was a young man, more ignorant back then.
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