WPD officer hurt as suspect flees
Charges pending after parolee tracked down in Ennis
A Waxahachie police officer is recovering at home from injuries suffered when a suspect with a lengthy criminal record allegedly ran him over while fleeing from apprehension on Thursday. One police dog is also recovering from an injury incurred during the suspect’s arrest.
Simon James DeKerf, 34, was taken into custody on Thursday night at a residence in Ennis after he eluded Waxahachie officers who had spotted him in the area of U.S. Highway 77 and U.S. 287 Bypass.
DeKerf was traced to Ennis, where he surrendered at about 10 p.m. Thursday as police surrounded the residence.
DeKerf is in custody in the Wayne McCollum Detention Center on a parole hold with no bond listed. He was originally charged just two weeks ago for possession of a controlled substance in penalty group one in an amount under 1 gram, an apparent parole violation. Charges from his flight from officers and the resultant officers’ injuries are pending.
The incident began at 4:29 a.m. Thursday when WPD officers responded to a welfare check in the 1100 block of North U.S. 77. DeKerf was not apprehended at that time.
Later in the day, WPD officers spotted DeKerf and approached him in the Walmart/Racetrac parking area, and that is where the unidentified WPD officer was struck. The officer did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.
The K-9 unit that was injured, Mattis, was hurt while stepping on a sharp object, police said. Mattis just joined WPD this month after three months of training in Florida with his partner, Officer Curtis Farmer. A second K-9 team member, Hondo, was part of the apprehension of the subject.
The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and the Ennis Police Department also assisted in the arrest of the suspect.
DeKerf was originally booked in 2016 on numerous charges, including a theft-of-property conviction which resulted in a three-year prison sentence. In March of this year, he was arrested again by the ECSO on a contempt of child support order.
The WPD officers are the first to be injured in the line of duty in more than 19 months. On May 4, 2019, a WPD officer was struck and injured while laying down spike strips on Interstate 35E for a driver who was leading a police chase. The officer was airlifted to Baylor Scott & White-Waxahachie, but was released that same evening with no broken bones, according to Ellis County Sheriff Chuck Edge at the time.