HOUSTON – Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland has been suspended for one day without pay for accidentally striking a pedestrian earlier this month.
The punishment was handed down by Mayor Annise Parker.
"I was at fault and will hold myself to a higher accountability," the chief said Thursday. "I am the boss. I should take a bigger discipline. That is why I am accepting my suspension."
McClelland said he would also take defensive driving.
The chief was on his way to work on September 4th when he stopped at Clay and Travis in downtown Houston.
"I made a left turn on Clay, from Clay onto Travis. I had a green light and he had a green light to walk across the street. For whatever reason, I didn’t see him," Chief McClelland explained the day of the accident.
When the pedestrian stepped off the curb, the chief’s car struck him.
"I heard the car hitting him, turned around and he was rolling on the ground," said Richard, a witness.
"The guy never got off the ground. He was in pain. He was in a lot of pain," said Jim Perryman, another witness.
James Harris, an attorney and father of three, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with minor injuries. He was checked out and released.
"I actually went to St. Joe’s to check on him to see how he was doing, and he had already been released," the chief said. "It’s not a good way to start a morning, as you can imagine."
The chief said Thursday that video of the accident will be released to media outlets.