Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Army Reservist Abandons Dying Fellow Soldier After Crash, Says He 'Did Not Care'
A drunken driver who crashed into a Lakewood, Washington power pole and killed his passenger Wednesday said he doesn’t care about the man he left bleeding when he ran from the scene, records show.
While two officers were applying tourniquets to Hernan Barragan’s arm and leg in an effort to save his life, Jefferson Taylor was trying to push his way into a nearby apartment to hide from police.
Taylor, a 21-year-old Joint Base Lewis-McChord resident, struggled with officers and allegedly threatened to kill them as he was taken to the hospital.
Barragan died at the scene, 40 minutes after the wreck.
Pierce County prosecutors on Thursday charged Taylor with vehicular homicide, two counts of third-degree assault, failure to remain at a fatal collision and obstructing a law enforcement officer in connection with Barragan’s death.
Barragan, 32, was an active-duty member of the Army Reserve. He was from Hollister, California, and stationed at JBLM.
It’s unclear how the two men knew each other and where they were coming from when Taylor crashed his pickup truck.
Charging papers give this account:
Taylor was driving more than 80 mph in a 25 mph speed zone when he lost control shortly after midnight on 108th Street Southwest at Douglas Drive Southwest.
The truck hit a power pole and kept going another 500 feet, shearing off two streets signs before stopping in the road.
Witnesses said Taylor took off running right after the crash.
Barragan was still seat belted in the passenger seat when police arrived. Officers tried to revive him and firefighters managed to extricate him from the crumpled vehicle, but Barragan died.
Police used a search dog to track Taylor to a nearby apartment complex, where officers could hear yelling.
They found Taylor lying on the ground outside an apartment door covered with bloody handprints. Taylor was bleeding profusely from a head wound.
Although Taylor claimed the man who lived in the unit shot him, officers determined that Taylor woke the man up by pounding on the door and tried to push his way inside when he heard police approaching the area.
Taylor struggled with police as he was taken into custody, kicking one officer in the chest. He kicked the doors and windows of the patrol car and repeatedly spit blood and threatened to kill officers.
“When told that Mr. Barragan was dead, the defendant responded with expletives, stating he did not care about him,” according to charging papers. “The defendant then launched back into his verbal attacks on the officers.”
Medical staff had to sedate Taylor so they could treat his head wound.
©2017 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - The United States will send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War to underscore Washington's commitment to NATO, a senior allied commander said on Tuesday.
Days after a NATO summit in London at which U.S. President Donald Trump called low-spending European allies "delinquent", U.S. Major General Barre Seguin said the exercises, centered on Germany, will be the largest of their kind in 25 years.
"This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the U.S. commitment to NATO," Seguin, who oversees allied operations from NATO's military headquarters in Belgium, told Reuters.
Gold Star family members might finally see an end to the so-called "Widows Tax" thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
The top Pentagon watchdog has announced it would be investigating all deaths of recruits during initial military training over the past five years, the agency said in a statement last week.
In a Dec. 4 memo, the DoD Inspector General said it was changing the scope of an investigation it had opened on Nov. 18 that was titled Evaluation of Medical Resources and Guidance to Trainers at Recruit Training Centers in the DoD. Its new title, the IG said, would be Evaluation of Medical Protocols and Deaths of Recruits in the DoD.
While its original objective of looking into the medical resources available to recruits would remain the same, the IG said it would now also review all deaths of recruits at military basic training facilities between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2019.
The move comes in the wake of several deaths at basic training facilities over the past year. In April, the Navy announced a safety review after two prospective sailors died at its recruit training facility in Great Lakes, Illinois. Seaman Recruit Kelsey Nobles died after a fitness test that month; Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans also died after the run portion of the fitness test.
In September, an 18-year-old soldier died following a "medical emergency" before a training drill at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has disciplined more than 20 Marines over misconduct at its San Diego boot camp since 2017, according to The Washington Post. The action came in the wake of a scandal involving the death of a 20-year-old Muslim recruit named Raheel Siddiqui, who fell 40 feet to his death at the Parris Island training facility, where he and other Muslims were targeted for abuse by their drill instructor (the instructor was later sentenced to 10 years in prison at court-martial).
According to the IG, Pentagon investigators will visit all DoD recruit training facilities and interview personnel from each service's education and training commands. They will also speak with personnel at military medical facilities, the Defense Health Agency, and those assigned at the Military Entrance Processing Command, which does the initial intake for civilians going into military service.
The number of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against senior Army officials increased this year, according to an Army Inspector General report recently presented to service leaders and obtained by Task & Purpose.
The document, which lays out broad details of IG investigations undertaken in fiscal year 2019, looks at investigations specific to senior Army officials, which includes "promotable colonels, general officers and senior executives," according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.
Marine Corps senior leaders have begun to express cautious openness to the idea of making the service's boot camps fully co-ed. But if Congress has its way, the service may be pushed toward full integration sooner than expected.
The final conference version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that would require the service to integrate both its East Coast and West Coast entry-level training facilities within the next eight years.