HOUSTON — Charges have been filed against a man who police say caused the death of a motorcycle officer who crashed during a police chase Tuesday. Dante J. Moore, 27, has been charged with murder for his role in the death of Bellaire Police Department Officer Marco Zarate.
Zarate was on duty and in the parking lot at 300 Meyerland Plaza when he was flagged down by loss prevention officers from Target reporting a theft.
The loss prevention officers gave descriptions of two suspects and the vehicle they jumped into. Zarate spotted the suspects in a older model green Chevrolet Malibu and a chase began.
Zarate chased the suspects to the 8500 block of Ferris Drive, where he lost control and crashed into the back of a landscaping trailer hitched to a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Paramedics transported Zarate to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 52 years old, a devoted husband and father of three daughters.
The suspects fled the scene, but a witness took cellphone video of the suspects in the mall parking lot. After that video was released showing a clear picture of the driver, Moore’s family contacted community activist Quanell X for help.
Police said Moore was the driver and his twin brother was the passenger.
Quanell facilitated a peaceful surrender and walked Moore into the Bellaire police station Wednesday afternoon.
Quanell instructed Moore to remove his shirt and to hold his hands in the air, showing officers that he was not armed. He said it was necessary to surrender in that fashion due to the recent shootings involving police and unarmed black men.
“This was a very tense one for me because of the time and the climate,” the community activist said at a press conference after the surrender. “I’ve done many of these, but this had to be one of the most intense ones because of the situation and the charge – the possible charges – the officer being killed at a time where everybody’s on edge in this country.”
Quanell also said Moore was no stranger to the law.
He seems to have some experience with the system so we are not dealing with a young man who’s square as a pool table and twice as green,” he said.
NewsFix obtained records showing that Moore has a lengthy criminal history, with prior convictions for evading arrest in 2013, tampering with evidence and possession in 2011, and burglary of a habitation and burglary of a vehicle in 2007.
He was booked into the Harris County Jail and his bond was set at $100,000.