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San Antonio police chief says COPS TV crew affected deputy pursuit that left officer injured

The SAPD officer injured as a result of a BCSO pursuit underwent surgery Thursday, but his leg "is not in good shape," the chief told reporters.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters he was angry about the Thursday evening chase involving deputies with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office that preceded an SAPD officer getting hit by a vehicle.

BCSO officials confirmed Thursday that the pursuit was sparked after deputies noticed a truck making multiple hazardous traffic violations and wouldn't stop. The suspect led officers southbound along I-35 N near Windcrest. The vehicle crashed into a guard rail; that's when the suspect took off running, with BCSO deputies in pursuit.

Viewer video captured a COPS film crew tagging along with the deputies as they took the suspect into custody.

When asked if the presence of the TV crew affected the sheriff's department's decision to engage in the pursuit, McManus answered in the affirmative.

"Let me be very direct in my answer. The answer is yes, I do."

The injured officer has been identified as 38-year-old Ralph Delgado, an 11-year SAPD veteran. McManus said Delgado underwent surgery Thursday evening, but his leg "is not in good shape, obviously." The officer will require more surgeries, according to the police chief.

Credit: San Antonio Police Department

"Hopefully pending these other surgeries, he'll pull out of this OK and be able to continue his career with SAPD," McManus said.

Delgado was injured while setting up flares at the scene of the crash. A truck struck his patrol unit, pinning the officer to a guardrail along I-35.

RELATED: SAPD: Officer pinned between vehicles while directing traffic following BCSO pursuit

RELATED: COPS begin filming with Bexar County Sheriff's Office

McManus pointed out Thursday evening that his department prohibits engaging in pursuits for anything but a violent crime or a crime involving a firearm. He said there would not have been a pursuit if SAPD officers were involved. 

Friday, McManus told reporters that he had spoken to Sheriff Javier Salazar and that the two would continue to talk about BCSO's policy on when to pursue.

"The sheriff and I have been good partners since he's been elected," McManus said. "That relationship will continue as far as I'm concerned, but right now my concern is the safety of my officers and the safety of the public. And pursuing people for offenses which do not rise to the need versus the risk to apprehend that person - that just doesn't work for me."

Watch the full press conference below:

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