15-year-old charged in fatal New Braunfels shooting


Teen charged in fatal shooting

New Braunfels police have charged a 15-year-old with murder Sunday in connection with the Saturday night shooting death of 17-year-old Conrad Kuntz.

The teenager from Marion was arrested without incident and is being held at the Guadalupe County Juvenile Detention Center, authorities said.

They declined to provide any other details about the suspect because the suspect is a minor.

Officials said the investigation into the case is ongoing and additional arrests or charges may be pending.

New Braunfels police on Saturday responded at 10:14 p.m., to the 1500 Block of Lahn Road for a report of shots fired.

Officers found Kuntz with an apparent gunshot wound. Medics tried to revive him but he died at the scene, police said.

— Nolan Hicks, American-Statesman


Deputies investigating inmate death

An inmate at the Travis County Jail died Monday after being taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, officials said.

According to the Travis County sheriff’s office, the inmate, 21-year-old Herman Titus, was booked into the facility on May 23 on a charge of intoxication assault and a parole violation.

Few details on his death were immediately available, but the sheriff’s office said evidence investigators have collected so far does not point to foul play.

An official cause and manner of death will be released in coming days.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman


Police ID pedestrian who died days after struck by car

A pedestrian who was struck in East Austin earlier this month has been identified by Austin police as 78-year-old Arnold “Otto” French. He died in the hospital two days after the traffic incident.

French was crossing Springdale Road a little after 9 p.m. on June 11 when he was struck by a white Hyundai, which was turning onto Springdale from Bandera Road.

French was taken to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead on June 13 as a result of his injuries from the crash, police said.

Austin police said French’s death is the city’s 32nd traffic fatality of the year. Last year at this time, police had recorded 31 traffic deaths.

This case is still ongoing and anyone with information about this incident can call the Austin police Vehicular Homicide Unit detectives at 512-974-5594.

Tips also can be submitted by downloading Austin police’s mobile app, Austin PD, for free on iPhone and Android.

— Nolan Hicks, American-Statesman


Police: Mom left son, 6, with man from AA meeting

A Pflugerville woman left her 6-year-old son with a man she’d just met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, according to an arrest affidavit.

Jeanette Briggs, 47, has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child.

According to the affidavit, Pflugerville police received a call at 9:21 p.m. Friday about a child who had been left at an address on Old Hutto Road, and minutes later received a call about a disturbance involving Briggs less than a mile away, in the 1500 block of Boysenberry Lane.

Briggs told police she began drinking earlier in the afternoon and then drove with her 6-year-old son to her Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When the meeting ended at 6 p.m., the affidavit said, Briggs said she needed to run to the store and asked a fellow AA member if he could watch her son.

After several hours passed and Briggs still hadn’t returned, AA staff members tried to find her contact information. When police found Briggs later that night, the affidavit said, she had poor balance, slurred speech and four empty single-serving wine bottles.

She remained Sunday in the Travis County Jail on bail set at $6,000.

— Rachel Rice, American-Statesman


Former taekwondo champion charged with assault

A two-time world taekwondo champion was arrested Thursday on charges of assaulting a community health paramedic at a halfway house.

Mandy Meloon, 36, was charged with assault on a public servant, a third-degree felony.

According to her arrest affidavit, Meloon was having a mental health episode at the Austin Transitional Center and seeing and hearing things that weren’t there. When a paramedic tried to stop a fight between her and another resident, the affidavit said, Meloon “put (the medic’s) right thumb into a thumblock, punched him in the right side of the abdomen, then attempted to knee him in the groin.”

Meloon was restrained and Austin police took her into custody.

According to her arrest affidavit, she was a member of the U.S. national team, a two-time world medalist and five-time U.S. champion in taekwondo, “so her skills in strikes and control techniques are more advanced than most people and capable of causing severe damage.”

Meloon was sentenced in 2016 to two years in prison after pleaded guilty to assaulting a sheriff’s deputy, according to reports by San Angelo Live. She was kicked off the U.S. Olympic team in 2007 for making online threats against a fellow teammate.

She is being held at the Travis County Jail on $10,000 bail.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Puppy rescued from hot car outside Walmart

Manor police arrested a man Saturday after he left his 8-week-old puppy in a hot car that was not running, according to an affidavit.

Chandler Allen Bullen, 20, was charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a Class A misdemeanor.

According to police, Bullen had left his Mexican Wolf and German Shepherd-mix puppy named Anabelle in his car for 30 minutes while he shopped at the Walmart in Manor. It was 99 degrees outside with a 109-degree heat index at the time, according to data from the National Weather Service.

When officers arrived, the report said, they found the puppy panting and crying in the locked vehicle, attempting to hide under the passenger seat to find shade. Police were able to reach through a partially opened sun roof and unlock the car with a tire iron, the affidavit said. When they retrieved the puppy, they found he was infested with fleas and had several lesions, according to officials.

Bullen told police he did not leave the vehicle running because he “did not want to waste gas.”

His bond was set at $4,000.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Report: Security footage showed robber still in store

Police arrested a man Friday on charges of robbing a Cricket Wireless store in Northeast Austin after they discovered on security footage he was still hiding in the store, according to reports.

Tyron Swist, 21, was charged with burglary of a non-residence, a state jail felony.

Police were called to the cell phone store on Manor Road and Rogge Lane overnight Friday, an arrest affidavit said. They found security bars and glass from the front door broken, the cash register on the ground and a safe in the back office open, the affidavit said.

Police watched security footage from the store’s cameras and saw Swist run into the back room when officers arrived. Officials realized he was still in the building and called police dog and backup units to assist.

According to the affidavit, police noticed that a ceiling tile had been disturbed and that Swist had made his way into the neighboring Diamond Food Mart. Both stores share the same building, and neither have back doors or windows.

A police dog later found the man hiding in the bottom shelf of a storage closet behind three boxes of food, the affidavit said.

He is being held at the Travis County Jail on $25,000 bail.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman

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