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Dad Says Killed Lancaster Cop Achieved Dreams

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
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LANCASTER (CBSDFW.COM) - Standing by his son’s hospital bed Saturday night, Mark Dodson watched him die. “It was the hardest thing I ever did, to be up there with him last night,” said Dodson.

An officer with the Lancaster Police Department and a father of three young children, 25-year-old Dustin Dodson had suffered massive head trauma in a crash Saturday morning.

Venus police say he was headed home from work on his motorcycle when a drunk driver suddenly swerved in front of him along Highway 67. “The man on the motorcycle never had a chance,” said Ernest Maggard, who saw the crash.

Maggard said he saw Dodson fly through the air, but that the man responsible just kept driving. “I knew if someone didn’t chase the man down and catch him, they’d never know who did it,” said Maggard.

So, Maggard did just that — chasing 22-year-old Ricardo Espinosa to a field two miles away, where he says Espinosa was trying to hide his truck in the tall grass.

When Espinosa tried to run, Maggard says, he tackled him and held him until police arrived. “I told him that he had possibly killed a man back at the intersection. He told me, ‘I was scared, that’s why I left,’” he said.

“The department is devastated by this tragic death,” said Lancaster Police Chief Larry Flatt, who described Dodson as an outstanding officer during his two years with the department.

“That was his lifelong dream — to be a police officer,” said his father. The other dream he achieved was marrying his high school sweetheart and raising a family, his father added.

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