Victim: Officer Gary Gryder

Officer Gryder was working traffic control when drunken illegal alien Vietnamese national Hing Trong crashed through a construction barrier and ran him over.

Perpetrator: Hing Trong

Crime Description:


Man accused in officer's death an illegal immigrant


03:34 PM CDT on Tuesday, July 1, 2008


By Jeff McShan / 11 News


Video: Jeff McShan's 11 News report

HOUSTON -- From his hospital bed, Houston police Officer Joe Pyland spent much of Monday answering phone calls and welcoming visitors.

The outpouring of support is helping him cope with his injuries and deal with the overwhelming loss of his friend Officer Gary Gryder.

Pyland and Gryder were working traffic control along a Katy Freeway feeder road Sunday when a driver smashed through some road barricades and struck the officers. Gryder was killed, and Pyland was seriously injured.

“I lost a friend, you lost a friend. We lost a great police officer,” Pyland said in an exclusive interview with 11 News. “I’m guessing another two or three inches and I am probably gone also.”Investigators said it is unclear if the driver of the car, Hung Truong, even saw the barricades or the flashing lights on the police car before the collision. Police said preliminary toxicology reports show that no alcohol or drugs were found in his system.

“My client is very, very sorry. I know some things have been reported in the media about his bizarre behavior, and I don’t know what the reason for that is. We’re going to find out, but I can tell you, right now he’s very, very sorry. He’s on his knees,” Troung's attorney Skip Cornelius said.

“The officers reported bizarre behavior on the part of the defendant at the scene while they were conducting their investigation. He appeared to be incoherent. He was laughing uncontrollably. There were times he’d sit on the pavement. We don’t have a clear indicator of what caused the behavior,” said Assistant Harris County D.A. Denise Bradley.

Troung has been charged with manslaughter. Harris County court records also revealed that Truong is an illegal immigrant.

“You know, a car coming 70 mph, a couple of barricades are not going to do nothing. Plus my overhead lights on the vehicle were on,” Officer Pyland said. “I was on the ground. I had been struck, and Gary had been knocked a distance from the vehicle.

“Just from experience, I know that is not good," he said.

It wasn’t.

Families for both officers waited anxiously in the emergency room as doctors and nurses worked to save their lives. Pyland’s wife Mary was not far from Gryder’s family when they received the devastating news.

“When we were in the ER trauma room, my husband was in one room. There’s a nurses station and there was the other family saying goodbye,” she said. “I was telling my family it could have been reversed. And we feel so lucky.”

Just a day after the incident, Officer Pyland was vowing to return to the streets, but not before his broken leg and heavy heart heal first.

“A police officer is conditioned to go back to work. This isn’t the first tragic situation,” said Pyland. “You know you get back on the saddle and get back to it.


-Victim: Officer Gary Gryder, Houston Police Department

On June 29, 2008, Officer Gryder was working traffic control when drunken Vietnamese national Hing Trong crashed through a construction barrier and ran him over. Officer Gryder was taken to the hospital where he later died of his injuries.

Several witnesses claimed that when Trong was laughing as he was taken into custody.
Officer Gryder was a 23-year veteran of the Houston Police Dept., and left behind a wife and three children.