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Old 01-26-2020, 12:10 PM
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Arrow Newport News mourns dead police officer, Navy reservist

Newport News mourns dead police officer, Navy reservist
By: Ben Finley - The Associated Press & NavyTimes - 01-25-20

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Newport News Police Officer Katherine "Katie" Thyne (Badge #2237) also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. She entered law enforcement after active duty. (Newport News Police Department)

A 24-year-old police officer in Virginia died after being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop, and the driver is facing charges that include felony homicide, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said Friday during an emotional news conference.

Katie Thyne was one of two police officers who were standing by the driver's-side door of a vehicle when it accelerated forward and drove a block before slamming into a tree on Thursday evening, Drew said.

Drew said the driver's side door was open, and the officers had just asked the driver to step out of the car.

"One officer was able to step out of the way, and she was not," Drew said.

Drew said Thyne was pinned between the door and the tree. She was flown to a hospital in nearby Norfolk where she died from her injuries.

"Katie was a true hero," said Drew, who took long pauses during the news conference to regain his composure.

"She had been here a short time with us, but she made a big impact on this department," the chief said. "She was just full of life. She was always smiling. Always."

Drew identified the driver as Vernon Green II. He said that Green's vehicle was pulled over because the officers were investigating a drug complaint. He said they had smelled a strong odor from the car.

The chief said Green was arrested after short foot chase. Besides the felony homicide charge, Drew said Green faces charges of eluding police and possessing narcotics.

Itís unclear if Green has hired an attorney.

Drew said police were still investigating the incident and officers have body camera footage as well as other evidence they were still processing.

Thyne was from New Hampshire and had served in the Navy before joining the Newport News Police Department, Drew said. She remained in the Navy Reserve.

Drew said that Thyne leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter and a partner as well as her mother, stepfather and brother.

"This is what she wanted to do," Drew said. "She wanted to be in law enforcement, and she wanted to do it in this city. She was very active in the community. Sometimes we try to teach that. But she got it."

WMUR in New Hampshire reported that Thyne was from Hudson and a 2013 graduate of Alvirne High School.

Newport News is a city of 180,000 people that sits along the James River near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Itís home to a shipyard that builds the nationís aircraft carriers and is near the worldís largest navy base in Norfolk.

Navy Times editorís note: Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Katherine Mary Thyne enlisted in the Navy on Sept. 9, 2013, according to her military records. She served on board the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln from May 1, 2014 to July 6, 2017 and then was assigned to Naval Station Norfolk until she exited active duty on Sept. 8, 2018. She joined the Navy Reserveís Operational Support Unit in Norfolk on March 12, 2019.


Personal note: Our respects go out to Katherine's Family & Friends & Shipmates for their loss.


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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