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Berrymania

This Michael Berry thing. WTF?

A police source familiar with the investigation into a hit-and-run accident linked to former city councilman and radio talk show host Michael Berry said Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland is upset with the handling of the high-profile probe and is expected to order an internal affairs inquiry.

Berry has not been charged over the Jan. 31 accident, but HPD’s crash report identified a car registered to him as the vehicle suspected in the crash. The owner of the car that was struck said Berry backed into his vehicle outside a gay bar in Montrose.

After the accident division reviewed an initial report from a patrol officer, it was assigned to an investigating officer, said the source, who did not want to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak about the matter.

That officer took his case findings to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, but presented only minimal evidence to support the hit-and-run charges, the source said.

But due to media reports quoting witnesses and citing other evidence, prosecutors have asked police to take another look, the source said.

McClelland has said he would not comment on an investigation where a suspect has not been named or charged. However, the police source said the chief is expected to order an internal affairs review of the investigation.

HPD patrol officers sent a “significant event notification” the night of the incident alerting the department that Berry’s vehicle allegedly hit a car parked outside the bar, according to a police document obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

“Patrol wanted hit and run to be aware of the case should the incident create media interest,” the notification reads.

Well, they were correct about that part of it. The rest, I have no idea, though I will note that as far as I have seen, Berry has not specifically denied or disputed anything that has been reported. I can’t wait to hear what his story is. Hair Balls has been all over this – it is right in their wheelhouse, after all. I recommend you read their 2003 cover story on Berry, which they brought up and summarized here for some background. I have no idea what happens from here, but I expect it will be entertaining.

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