Former Liberty County investigator charged with making false report to law enforcement

Pct. 1 Constable Justin Johnston (right) visits with Chris Ungles with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office on Thursday at the Liberty County Courthouse, just moments after the sentence was handed down for the man who struck and seriously injured Johnston in February 2017.

By Vanesa Brashier,

Christopher Lee Ungles, 38, a former investigator with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, surrendered himself at the Liberty County Jail on Tuesday to answer a charge of False Report to Police, a Class B misdemeanor.

The charge against Ungles stems from a December 23, 2018, traffic accident that was investigated by troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“He was involved in an incident and DPS filed the charges. He was arrested on their warrant and turned himself in after learning of the charge,” said Sheriff Bobby Rader. “He hasn’t worked for the sheriff’s office since January. He was let go pending the investigation by DPS. His termination was for policy violations.”

The incident that led to charges against Ungles began as a single-vehicle crash of an ATV. According to DPS Sgt. Rob Willoughby, the crash occurred when an ATV carrying four people attempted to pass a vehicle on CR 432 in the Westlake community of Dayton. The ATV left the roadway and rolled over in a ditch after striking a fence.

According to Willoughby, the driver of the ATV, Jacob Collin Robison, 31, of Dayton, had reportedly left the scene before DPS arrived. His adult male passenger and one of two juvenile passengers was seriously injured and were flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. Alcohol is said to have been a factor in the crash.

At some point during the DPS investigation, Ungles allegedly intentionally made a false statement to troopers to help a friend. Willoughby said DPS sought input on the case from the Liberty County District Attorney’s Office and the Liberty County Attorney’s Office, and worked with the sheriff’s office.

“The common misconception is that law enforcement will overlook situations like this, but that is not the case. We take our crash investigations seriously, especially when there are injuries involved,” Willoughby said. “Our hands are tied when it comes to something like this.”

All parties involved in the accident survived.

“The driver, if he hasn’t already been charged, will be charged,” Willoughby said.

Ungles was booked in and released on a personal recognizance bond, according to the sheriff.

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