Expect heavy delays this morning in downtown Houston as hundreds from around the state show their respects for fallen Sergeant Steve Perez who died in Harvey's floodwaters Sunday, August 27.
“In the darkness, Sergeant Perez drove unto an underpass that’s about 16 ½ feet, drove into the water and he died in a flood, drowning type event,” said Chief Art Acevedo.
Perez’s body was recovered Tuesday, August 29.
“He was a sweet, gentle public servant.”
Perez, 60, was an Army veteran and had been with Houston Police Department for 34 years. He's survived by his wife. Acevedo said he personally broke the news to Lupe, Perez’s wife.
“I told him not to go to work, I didn’t want him to go,” Acevedo said she told him.
He said when he asked Lupe, do you think Perez would rather die in his chair watching the events unfold on television, or die in action, a smile came across her face.
“If it was his time to go, this is the way he would’ve wanted to go,” Mrs. Perez answered Acevedo.
A Rosary was recited yesterday afternoon at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Humble. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated downtown at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston, Texas 77002, starting at 9:30 am.
Following the funeral mass, HPD honors will be rendered outside the front of the church. HPD will then escort the funeral procession to the Houston National Cemetery for a private burial service.
Members of the public should be aware of some downtown street closures Wednesday morning. Beginning about 7:30 a.m., some streets immediately surrounding the Co-Cathedral will be closed. These include:
• St. Joseph’s Parkway between Caroline and Main
• Fannin between Pierce and Jefferson
• San Jacinto between Pierce and Jefferson
Additionally, streets a few blocks outside the immediate church perimeter will remain open, but there will be lane closures. Motorists should plan accordingly.
Finally, members of the public who wish to observe the motorcade as it processes toward Houston National Cemetery may do so by observing the following route:
• From Downtown Houston to the North Freeway (North Interstate Highway 45)
• North Freeway to North Sam Houston Parkway East
• North Sam Houston Parkway East service road to Veteran’s Memorial
The procession is estimated to take place between 11:30 am and noon.