Crime

Don’t forget safety while shopping on Black Friday, police say

Don’t forget safety while shopping on Black Friday, police say

Holiday shopping mania can make it easy to forget some common-sense rules to keep you and your belongings safe. Austin and Sunset Valley police recommend these tips before hitting the stores on Black Friday: 1. Remove valuables from view: After a successful shopping run, you should place and secure all holiday packages in your trunk, away from prying eyes. Thefts are crimes of opportunity, and thieves...

3 semis crash in Northeast Austin, cause closure on I-35

NORTHEAST AUSTIN 3 semis crash, cause closure on I-35 Three semis were involved in a collision in Northeast Austin on Wednesday, forcing authorities to briefly shut down the southbound lanes of Interstate 35 near the U.S. 290 interchange north of 51st Street on one of the busiest road travel days of the year. Diesel fuel spilled onto the roadway after the wreck, which happened shortly before 1 p.m...
Surprised by Austin SWAT near your home? It’s for safety, police say

Surprised by Austin SWAT near your home? It’s for safety, police say

When Austin police SWAT officers deploy, they can look intimidating. Team members wear beefed-up ballistic vests and armor, and they carry specialized weapons beyond what patrol officers typically carry. They roll into neighborhoods in armored vehicles, surround houses and block off streets, often prompting confused neighbors to call the media or seek answers on online message boards. But catching...
Houston man accused in string of check scams across Central Texas

Houston man accused in string of check scams across Central Texas

A Houston man is being accused for at least the third time by Central Texas authorities of impersonating a public investigator, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week. In the latest case, Austin police say 49-year-old Ricky Cortez posed as a Travis County investigator who told the victim of his scam he would take him to jail if the victim did not pay for hot checks he had written, the affidavit...
Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s at Domain, police say

Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s at Domain, police say

Austin police are looking for a woman who they say stole merchandise from a Macy’s department store with the help of another woman and four children no older than 10 years old. Investigators are looking for 27-year-old Martha Monique Lopez, who is charged with robbery by assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed against her this week. On Nov. 12, police received a call around 2 p.m. from...
Police detain two after East Austin burglary reported 

Police detain two after East Austin burglary reported 

Officers have detained two people after a burglary was reported in East Austin, police said. The incident was reported in the 4700 block of Ribbecke Avenue. Officers formed a perimeter around the area before ultimately detaining two people, police said. The investigation is still ongoing, police said.
Man accused of abandoning 6-year-old son in Georgetown hotel room

Man accused of abandoning 6-year-old son in Georgetown hotel room

A man is accused of leaving his 6-year-old son alone in a Georgetown hotel room and not returning, an arrest affidavit said. Gregory Flores, 45, of Georgetown was charged with abandoning or endangering a child, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. An employee of the Days Inn at 333 North Interstate 35 in Georgetown told police a 6-year-old boy had walked into the office on Oct...
Two more women accuse guard of sexual misconduct at immigration lockup

Two more women accuse guard of sexual misconduct at immigration lockup

Two more women have accused guards at a Williamson County federal immigration detention center of sexual misconduct following another immigrant detainee’s recent accusation of being sexually assaulted at the Taylor facility. The immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership on Tuesday announced that staff had spoken with one woman, accused of living in the country illegally and formerly housed...

Man, 38, wounded in North Austin shooting, police say

NORTH AUSTIN Man wounded in shooting A man was shot and injured in North Austin on Tuesday afternoon, Austin police said. A police spokeswoman said officers were called out to the 10400 block of Little Pebble Drive, near Metric Boulevard, at 2:12 p.m. after receiving a call for a shooting in the area. Officers arrived and found a 38-year-old man with a gunshot wound, police said. Medics took the man...
BREAKING: Man, 38, wounded in North Austin shooting, police say

BREAKING: Man, 38, wounded in North Austin shooting, police say

Austin police responded to a shooting in North Austin on Tuesday afternoon. A police spokeswoman said officers were called out to the 10400 block of Little Pebble Drive, near Metric Boulevard, at 2:12 p.m. after receiving a call for a shooting or stabbing in the area. Officers arrived and found a 38-year-old man with a gunshot wound, police said. Police said the man was alert, but additional details...
Man found dead in Canyon Lake in apparent homicide, authorities say

Man found dead in Canyon Lake in apparent homicide, authorities say

Comal County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Monday morning in Canyon Lake. According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were called out to check on someone in the 700 block of Rambling Drive around 7:35 a.m. They arrived to find a man dead. The sheriff’s office did not release any additional details, but confirmed that the man’s...
Lawsuit prompts UT to lift student’s suspension for sexual misconduct

Lawsuit prompts UT to lift student’s suspension for sexual misconduct

The University of Texas has lifted – at least for now – the suspension of a student it accused of sexual misconduct for having sex with another student who says she was intoxicated when she gave consent after a 2016 sorority formal. In a document filed Monday in U.S. Western District Court, the university asked a federal judge to cancel a hearing Monday at which the school’s president...
Congressman ‘shocked, outraged’ by Statesman report on Temple VA abuses

Congressman ‘shocked, outraged’ by Statesman report on Temple VA abuses

U.S. Rep. John Carter sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Director David Shulkin on Monday demanding answers regarding findings of abuse of veterans, equipment theft, abuse of power and possible financial crimes at the VA’s Temple campus. On Sunday, the American-Statesman detailed the results of an internal investigation into issues with the Temple VA’s motor pool and grounds...
UPDATE: SWAT situation on West Parmer Lane ends peacefully, police say

UPDATE: SWAT situation on West Parmer Lane ends peacefully, police say

4:12 p.m. update: A person came out of an apartment in the 5400 block of West Parmer Lane after a SWAT team responded to a call about the residence. The SWAT situation has now ended, police said. Earlier: An Austin police SWAT team is responding to an incident in the 5400 block of West Parmer Lane, police officials said. Police got a 911 call around 2 p.m. to check on the status...
Threat cleared at Williamson County apartments, sheriff says

Threat cleared at Williamson County apartments, sheriff says

7:45 p.m. update: Authorities say residents are now able to move safely in and out of the Preserve at Rolling Oaks Apartments in Williamson County after law enforcement cleared a threat made earlier at the complex. “A specific threat was made in the area & after searching with multiple agencies we feel confident area is clear. Though nothing was located we remind residents to always be...

Man accused of baseball bat attacks in North Austin, police say

NORTH AUSTIN Man accused of baseball bat attacks A 26-year-old man was charged with five counts of aggravated assault after police said he struck five people with his hands and an aluminum baseball bat in North Austin. Kenney Irons was booked into the Travis County Jail in lieu of bail set at $100,000 following the incident at Zoe’s Helping Hand, 8007 Burnet Road. An affidavit filed by Austin...
Man charged with aggravated assault in baseball bat attacks

Man charged with aggravated assault in baseball bat attacks

A 26-year-old man was charged with five counts of aggravated assault after police said he struck five people with his hands and an aluminum baseball bat in North Austin. Kenney Irons was booked into the Travis County Jail in lieu of bail set at $100,000 following the incident at Zoe’s Helping Hand, 8007 Burnet Road. An affidavit filed by Austin police said Irons attacked Cherie Baird, Shelia...

Driver injured after hitting tree in Northwest Austin, EMS says

NORTHWEST AUSTIN Driver injured after hitting tree, EMS says A man was injured after crashing into a tree in Northwest Austin on Saturday, Austin-Travis County EMS officials reported. Medics responded just before 5:20 p.m. to the crash in the northbound lanes of the 7900 block of Capital Of Texas Highway, near the intersection with Spicewood Springs Road. The driver was taken to Seton Northwest Hospital...

Teaxs Digest: Special-needs teen who died was abused, officials say

SOUTHEAST TEXAS Officials: Special-needs teen was abused A 14-year-old with special needs died last year after being given blood pressure medication not prescribed by a doctor, and an investigation found that numerous people had used a stun gun on her over several months, authorities in suburban Houston say. The Montgomery County sheriff’s office said Saturday that three people, including the...
Mom, girls sought by police had fled foster care danger, dad says

Mom, girls sought by police had fled foster care danger, dad says

Fear for her daughters’ safety inside a South Austin foster home prompted Sarah Marcella Jordan of Cedar Park to violate a court order last Tuesday when she picked them up after school and drove them to Florida, triggering a multistate search that ended in her arrest, her husband said. Authorities found Jordan’s daughters safe in Florida on Thursday, but not before Central Texas law enforcement...

Man accused of breaking into Leander bank by crashing through doors

LEANDER Man accused of crashing through bank’s doors A man has been accused of breaking into a Leander bank by crashing his car through the front doors of the bank and colliding with the teller counter, according to an arrest affidavit. Denzel Ogolla, 19, of Leander was charged with burglary, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Police were alerted Nov. 3 after responding...
Man accused of demanding sex from 15-year-old girl on Snapchat

Man accused of demanding sex from 15-year-old girl on Snapchat

A Taylor man is accused of sending a message on Snapchat to a 15-year-old girl he knew demanding that she sleep with him, according to an arrest affidavit. Arthuro Medrano, 20, of Taylor, was charged with online solicitation of a minor, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The girl told police that on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, someone identified as “15” contacted her...
BREAKING: Third family member involved in suspected drunken driving crash has died, relatives say

BREAKING: Third family member involved in suspected drunken driving crash has died, relatives say

A man who was gravely injured in a crash that killed his wife and son last weekend died Friday morning after being taken off life support, a family member told the American-Statesman. Scott Latulippe, 41, was a passenger in a Fiat 500 headed south in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard on Saturday afternoon when suspected drunken driver Guy Brasted barreled into oncoming traffic and slammed into...
Police: Man posed as Travis County hot check collector in Leander

Police: Man posed as Travis County hot check collector in Leander

Another case has been filed against a Houston man accused of posing as a Travis County investigator. Ricky Cortez, 48, of Houston, has been accused of posing as a hot check collector for Travis County at a convenience store in Leander, according to an arrest affidavit released this week. Cortez was charged Oct. 24 with impersonating a public servant, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years...
Austin police seek info from public on crash that killed mom, teen on U.S. 183

Austin police seek info from public on crash that killed mom, teen on U.S. 183

Austin police detectives are trying to piece together the events that led up to a head-on collision on U.S. 183 last Saturday that left two dead and two injured. Police said 41-year-old Guy Brasted was headed north in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, a stretch of the highway where the north and southbound lanes are separated by steel cables, rather than concrete barriers.  Police believe...
State alcohol regulators investigating death of Texas State student

State alcohol regulators investigating death of Texas State student

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating the death of a 20-year-old Texas State University student who was found dead on Monday after a fraternity event the night before. Sophomore Matthew Ellis was pronounced dead at 12:28 p.m. at the off-campus Millennium Apartments, according to San Marcos police. “This is an incredibly tragic event, and TABC extends its sympathies to the...
Missing sisters found safe, but questions about case’s handling remain

Missing sisters found safe, but questions about case’s handling remain

As the welcome news came Thursday that three missing Austin-area sisters had been found safe in Florida, questions remained about how long it took school officials to learn one child was missing and why authorities didn’t send out a statewide Amber Alert. Two of the sisters had been in foster care since Nov. 3, when authorities learned their mother had allowed their father, 46-year-old Anthony...
Lakeway man found guilty of sex assault, sentenced to life in prison

Lakeway man found guilty of sex assault, sentenced to life in prison

A Lakeway man was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison Thursday in one of three separate Travis County incidents in which he is accused of sexual assault. State District Judge David Crain sentenced Saffa Bell, 55, shortly after the jury read the verdict Thursday. A 30-year-old Army veteran, who was Bell’s co-worker, testified earlier this week that he got sleepy after drinking a margarita...
Lakeway man found guilty of sexual assault, sentenced to life in prison

Lakeway man found guilty of sexual assault, sentenced to life in prison

A jury found a Lakeway man guilty of sexual assault Thursday, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison after the jury’s verdict was read. The automatic sentence for Saffa Bell, 55, was due to the fact that he was also found guilty in 1989 in Harris County for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit sexual assault. This week’s case was also one of three separate Travis County...
Former Austin fire lieutenant charged with recording woman in locker room

Former Austin fire lieutenant charged with recording woman in locker room

Police have issued an arrest warrant for a former Austin Fire Department lieutenant accused using a spy camera to film a female firefighter in the showers at a fire station in downtown Austin in September. James William Baker II, 52, faces a charge of invasive visual recording, a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000, according to an arrest affidavit...
Mother of missing Austin students arrested in Florida; girls are safe, police say

Mother of missing Austin students arrested in Florida; girls are safe, police say

6:30 p.m. update: A woman accused of abducting her daughters from Austin schools Tuesday has been detained in Florida and the girls are safe, Austin school police officials said Thursday.  AISD police did not say where exactly Sarah Marcella Jordan, 38, was arrested. She is charged with interference with child custody.  Police say Jordan and her 16-year-old daughter, who was not an Austin...

Warrant issued for former AFD lieutenant for improper photography

AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT Warrant issued for former lieutenant An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for a former Austin fire lieutenant who authorities say set up recording equipment in an area designated for women at a fire station, officials said. Travis County Assistant District Attorney Dexter Gilford said James Baker faces a charge of improper or invasive photography, a state jail felony for which...
Police search for robber of Wells Fargo bank in Cedar Park

Police search for robber of Wells Fargo bank in Cedar Park

Cedar Park police are searching for a man who robbed the Wells Fargo bank on Wednesday afternoon at 920 North Lakeline Boulevard. Police were notified about the robbery at 12:28 p.m., according to a news release. A bank teller told officers that a man approached her and handed her a note demanding money, police said. The teller gave him an undisclosed amount of money and the man left, according to...
Travis County DA’s office declines to take two police shootings to grand jury 

Travis County DA’s office declines to take two police shootings to grand jury 

The Travis County district attorney’s office decided not to take two Austin police shootings to a grand jury for review, the DA’s office announced Wednesday. Prosecutors determined that the officers’ use of force was justified in each case, the DA’s office said in a statement. District Attorney Margaret Moore, who took office in January, decided that she would no longer...
California family shattered after fatal wrong-way crash in Austin

California family shattered after fatal wrong-way crash in Austin

Of the family of four hit by a suspected drunken driver Saturday afternoon on Research Boulevard, it’s possible that only the 10-year-old girl who was in the backseat at the time will survive, her grandfather said Tuesday. The Latulippe family is from California and had flown to Austin to visit friends, said Jim Enos, whose 38-year-old daughter and 14-year-old grandson were killed in the crash...
Austin school district seeks help in possible abduction of 10-year-old student

Austin school district seeks help in possible abduction of 10-year-old student

Austin school district officials are asking for the public’s help in finding a 10-year-old Oak Hill Elementary School student who they think might have been abducted by a family member.  Angelia Jordan is described as 5 feet tall and weighing about 60 pounds. She was last seen at Oak Hill Elementary wearing a pink shirt, black pants and white shoes. The suspect vehicle is a 2002 gray or...
Lakeway man faces life sentence as sexual assault trial gets underway

Lakeway man faces life sentence as sexual assault trial gets underway

A man who says he was drugged and raped by a co-worker just days after he moved to the Austin area two years ago isn’t much for mixed drinks. He drinks Scotch and only Scotch, he told a Travis County jury on Tuesday. But he agreed to a margarita that a man he worked on construction with had prepared when the two were hanging out on a weeknight in September 2015 in Lakeway. After a few sips,...

Mom, teen killed in wrong-way crash in Northwest Austin ID’d

NORTHWEST AUSTIN Mom, teen killed in wrong-way crash identified Austin police have identified the two people killed in a wrong-way collision on U.S. 183 in Northwest Austin on Saturday as 38-year-old Nancy Latulippe and her 14-year-old son, Jackson. According to a preliminary police investigation, 41-year-old Guy Brasted was in a black Jeep Wrangler heading north in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard...
Former Dell Children’s patient stole more than $30k from hospital, police say

Former Dell Children’s patient stole more than $30k from hospital, police say

Austin police on Tuesday filed an arrest warrant for a former Dell Children’s Medical Center patient suspected of stealing more than $30,000 from the hospital in September. Anthony Clayton Kavanaugh, 28, faces a third-degree felony theft charge, according to an arrest affidavit filed on Tuesday. The document said employees of the hospital called police on Sept. 25 to report that $31,436.38 in...
Army veteran says Lakeway man spiked drink, raped him

Army veteran says Lakeway man spiked drink, raped him

1 p.m. A 30-year-old man testified Tuesday that he grew disoriented and laid down in bed after defendant Saffa Bell insisted he drink from a margarita he made for him. The man said the loopy feeling he felt was far different from intoxication from alcohol, leading him to believe Bell spiked the drink with a date rape drug. When the man came to, he said his pants were down and Bell was performing oral...
Jury gives man life sentence for killing Hutto police sergeant in 2015

Jury gives man life sentence for killing Hutto police sergeant in 2015

The relatives of Hutto police Sgt. Chris Kelley aimed their grief and anger directly at Colby Williamson on Monday, just moments after he was given a life sentence for running over and killing Kelley with his own patrol car in 2015. “You murdered my son,” Jack Kelley told Williamson in the courtroom during the time victims are given to speak to a defendant after sentencing. “You...

Police: Driver was drunk in collision that killed woman, teen

NORTHWEST AUSTIN Driver drunk in deadly collision, police say The driver of a Jeep that collided with another car in oncoming traffic in Northwest Austin on Saturday, killing two people, was driving drunk and faces manslaughter charges, police said. Police responded around 3:30 p.m. Saturday to the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, near the Gateway Shopping Center, after the Jeep’s driver, 41-year-old...
Texas sees increase in domestic violence reports

Texas sees increase in domestic violence reports

Domestic violence cases have increased sharply in Texas in recent years. Figures from the state Department of Public Safety show that more than 214,000 people were injured or died in 2016 at the hands of a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or other person close to them. That’s up from about 193,000 in 2011. In Houston, police reported that they had more than 24,000 domestic violence cases...
Police looking for man who robbed Chase Bank in South Austin 

Police looking for man who robbed Chase Bank in South Austin 

7 p.m. update: Austin police are asking the public to help them identify a person who they say robbed a Chase Bank in South Austin on Monday.  Police say the robber entered the bank, located in the 100 block of Slaughter Lane, around 3:10 p.m. and gave a teller a note demanding money. He then fled north on Cullen Lane with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.  Police described the...
North Texas college student was making party noise complaint when ceiling caved in

North Texas college student was making party noise complaint when ceiling caved in

Carley Carroll and her roommates went to the Denton Police Department early Sunday morning to make a noise complaint about the party in the apartment above them. It was a good thing that the University of North Texas students were not at home, because the ceiling came crashing down while they were out. According to KDFW, the floor in the noisy unit above Carroll’s second-floor apartment gave...
SWAT standoff in South Austin ends in arrest after reported disturbance involving gun

SWAT standoff in South Austin ends in arrest after reported disturbance involving gun

12:50 p.m. update: Austin police said they have taken a man into custody after an hourslong standoff at a South Austin apartment complex. They have not released any other details about the man. 12:20 p.m. update: A police SWAT team was called out to the 2300 block of Durwood Street in South Austin on Monday morning after receiving reports of a disturbance involving a gun. Austin police said officers...
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