Central Texas police officer who shot woman who tried to run him over cleared of wrongdoing

Grand jury indicts woman on felony count of aggravated assault against a public servant
Carol Lynn Peña
Carol Lynn Peña(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 2:50 PM CDT
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TROY, Texas (KWTX) - A Troy police officer who shot a woman who reportedly tried to back over him last year was cleared of wrongdoing Thursday, while the woman was indicted on felony charges.

A McLennan County grand jury determined that officer Chadwick Krakowian committed no criminal wrongdoing when he fired shots through the back window of Carol Lynn Peña’s vehicle during a September 2022 incident that started in Bell County and ended in Waco.

The grand jury named Peña, 43, of San Antonio, in a two-count indictment charging her with aggravated assault against a public servant, a first-degree felony, and evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, a third-degree felony.

The incident started about 5 p.m. Sept. 25 when Bell County officers were alerted to a reckless driver reportedly driving at speeds up to 90 mph. The driver reportedly was weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the Interstate 35 shoulder between Belton and Temple. Officers spotted the car and reported the driver almost struck a patrol car, police reported at the time.

Krakowian spotted Peña’s vehicle and tried to pull her over. The pursuit continued into McLennan County, ending when Peña pulled over at 1440 W. Loop 340. Krakowian exited his patrol vehicle and ordered Peña to get out of her car, reports state. Peña ignored the officer’s demands, put the car in reverse and tried to back over Krakowian, officials said.

Krakowian fired “multiple shots,” wounding Pena, reports state.

Peña was taken for treatment at a Waco hospital before she was taken to the McLennan County Jail.

Troy Police Chief Jeremy Gooch declined comment on the grand jury action.

Texas Ranger Ken Shields, who investigated the incident, presented his findings to the grand jury Thursday. Cases involving officer-involved shootings routinely are reviewed by grand juries to determine whether there is criminal wrongdoing by the officers.

Peña’s attorney, Abel Reyna, said, “extenuating circumstances necessitated an indictment in this case so that those matters could be addressed.”

Reyna declined additional comment. However court officials said Thursday that Peña has undergone a mental health evaluation and was determined to be incompetent to stand trial at this time.