Man crushed at construction site in East Austin was 49


EAST AUSTIN

Man crushed by debris identified

Austin police on Friday identified a man who was crushed by an approximately 20-ton concrete panel at a construction site on Wednesday as 49-year-old Amir Kaman.

Emergency crews responded to a construction site at Wickersham Lane and Cromwell Circle around 9:14 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about a man who was trapped under a large slab of concrete.

Fire and medical crews arrived within minutes, but were initially unable to reach Kaman.

When they did, they realized that he was dead, and began working to cut through the 30,000 to 40,000 pound slab he was under.

Investigators have still not explained how the slab ended up falling on Khan, but investigations from the Austin Police Department on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are still active.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman

EAST AUSTIN

Police: Mom left kids in hot car

Austin police say a 24-year-old mother left her two small children in a car unattended, while she went grocery shopping on a day when temperatures hit 94 degrees outside.

Viviana Campos-Machuca was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Travis County Jail on a charge of child endangerment.

It’s the second time since March that Campos-Machuca has been accused by police of leaving the two children alone in the car, according to court papers made public Friday.

Witnesses called police after spotting the two children — a 6-year-old and a 1-year-old — in the car, which was left idling in the parking lot at the Fiesta supermarket in East Austin’s Cherrywood neighborhood, the arrest affidavit says.

The children may have been left in the car alone for more than half an hour, the affidavit said.

Police and fire personnel were on the scene, tending to the children for about 10 minutes before Campos-Machuca exited the store and returned to the car, according to the court papers.

The two small children were hot even though Campos-Machuca left the air conditioning running, the affidavit said.

— Nolan Hicks, American-Statesman

AUSTIN

Ex cop sues APD for wrongful termination

A former Austin police officer who was accused of insubordination and was fired last year is suing the Police Department for wrongful termination, claiming retaliation, according to a lawsuit.

Carlos Saldivar was a firearms instructor for the department, where he had worked for 18 years, the lawsuit said. Saldivar claims he was fired as a form of retaliation after he filed a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the agency’s internal affairs department against his superiors for workplace discrimination, the document said.

The lawsuit claims that Cmdr. Darryl Jamail, Assistant Chief Jason Dusterhoft, former police Chief Art Acevedo and the Austin Police Monitor — all of whom are also named in the lawsuit — retaliated against Saldivar when they filed a complaint regarding a separate incident in 2015. That year, Saldivar allegedly left work for about 25 minutes to pick up a fellow Austin police officer at the airport without notifying a supervisor, the lawsuit said. Saldivar claims that there was no supervisor available but that he did check with other training officers before leaving, the document said.

According to an Austin memo issued last year, Acevedo said Saldivar was fired after two internal affairs investigations found that Saldivar had been dishonest and insubordinate.

The memo also stated that Saldivar’s dismissal was based on several incidents that occurred last year and four previous suspensions.

“The evidence in this case documenting the events related to officer Saldivar’s insubordination show a pattern of behavior that demonstrates his outright refusal to follow orders from his supervisors,” said Acevedo in the memo.

Saldivar is suing Austin police for retaliation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, a Title IX violation and public disclosure of private facts, among others, according to the lawsuit. Saldivar is also suing the Police Monitor — an extension of the City of Austin — for similar claims, the document said.

— Ali Linan, American-Statesman



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