Crime

Man in his 60s reported stabbed in East Austin

Man in his 60s reported stabbed in East Austin

A man estimated to be in his 60s has serious injuries after he was stabbed multiple times in the torso Wednesday, Austin police said. Medics responded at 5:56 p.m. to the report in the 1100 block of East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said. Investigators said the stabbing may have taken place several hours ago, police said. Investigators were unsure whether the attack itself...

Man arrested for sexually assaulting Austin drag queen, police say

AUSTIN Man accused of assaulting transgender woman A man accused of sexually assaulting a transgender woman who is a drag performer was arrested Wednesday, Austin police said. Eric Nelson, 29, is charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The reported assault happened May 28, 2017, Austin police said. Christi Long, an Austin drag queen whose stage name is Christi Foxx...
Man arrested for sexually assaulting Austin drag queen, police say 

Man arrested for sexually assaulting Austin drag queen, police say 

A man is facing a sexual assault charge and an assault charge after police accused him of attacking an Austin drag performer, who is a transgender woman. Eric Nelson, 29, was arrested Wednesday, police said. He was charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The reported assault happened May 28, 2017, Austin police said. Christi Long, an Austin drag queen whose stage...
Report: Girls doing well in foster care after kidnapping, mom’s death

Report: Girls doing well in foster care after kidnapping, mom’s death

Two girls who were recovered in Colorado after being kidnapped from their Round Rock home, where their mother was found slain are doing well in foster care, according to a report from a state agency. Lilianais Victoria Griffith, 14, and Luluvioletta Bandera-Margret, 7, are staying at the same foster home in Hays County, said a court report filed Friday by the Texas Department of Family and Protective...
Man arrested in Sixth St. fight was wearing body armor, affidavit says

Man arrested in Sixth St. fight was wearing body armor, affidavit says

A man who Austin police arrested after fighting on Sixth Street on Saturday now faces a felony charge after he was found wearing body armor, court documents say. The fight broke out around 2 a.m. on Jan. 13 in the 400 block of East Sixth Street, according to an arrest affidavit. The document says officers reported seeing two men throwing punches at each other and took them into custody for disorderly...
Round Rock police ID owner of vehicle found with body inside

Round Rock police ID owner of vehicle found with body inside

9:30 p.m. update: Round Rock police have confirmed it was 56-year-old Lessie Coleman’s Chysler sedan that was pulled from a retention pond at the Texas A&M Health and Science Center Monday morning. A woman’s body was found inside the car, however authorities have not confirmed it was Coleman. Round Rock police say there is nothing suspicious about the woman’s death, however...

$23 million in state-funded vests to raise police safety to new level

Texas plans to spend $23 million to equip law enforcement officers across the state with rifle-resistant vests, which will provide officers with a level of security that most have never had. The law enforcement agencies that are receiving state grants to purchase the vests are big and small. Some have fewer than a dozen officers; others have thousands. The vests — which can be somewhat large...

Texas Digest: Man fatally shot in Fort Worth drug raid identified

FORT WORTH Man killed by police in raid identified Authorities have identified a man Fort Worth SWAT officers shot and killed during a drug raid. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Saturday that the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said 60-year-old Jose Arroyo-Rosales Sr. died of multiple gunshot wounds about 1:40 a.m. Thursday. Authorities said tactical officers were serving a search...
Report of assault at UT uncorroborated so far, police say

Report of assault at UT uncorroborated so far, police say

4:30 p.m. update: University of Texas police say reports that a woman was held against her will have proven to be incorrect, however they are still looking into an incident from Sunday at a private residence. The university sent an alert to students shortly after 2 p.m. that a naked man wrapped in a sheet had held a woman against her will near West Campus. Austin police said they were unable to locate...
Woman yelled racial slurs, threats at Lago Vista officer, report says

Woman yelled racial slurs, threats at Lago Vista officer, report says

A woman arrested on a domestic violence charge Wednesday is in Travis County jail after she yelled racial slurs and threatened a Lago Vista police officer, according to an arrest affidavit. Nicole Weinhandl, 32, was charged with three misdemeanors — assault causing bodily injury to a family member, criminal mischief and unlawful restraint. She was also charged with obstruction or retaliation...
Jury finds Austin man acted in self-defense in fatal shooting

Jury finds Austin man acted in self-defense in fatal shooting

A Travis County jury acquitted an Austin man of murder late Friday, determining that Zachary Payne had killed Alfred Matthews in self-defense. After nine hours of deliberations, the jury also found Payne not guilty of two aggravated assault charges Payne faced in the July 2016 shooting. Payne testified during his trial, saying he was trying to retrieve a stolen bracelet when he confronted a group...
Mass casualty events prompt FBI, local agencies to forge closer ties

Mass casualty events prompt FBI, local agencies to forge closer ties

Columbine. Newtown. Sutherland Springs. There is not a single place in this country bucolic enough that it is immune to violence on a scale that could be enough to cripple local first responders. Authorities acknowledge that the threat of so-called mass casualty incidents has fundamentally changed training, preparation and relationships among small policing jurisdictions and their big city and federal...
Jury: Austin police officer used excessive force in jaywalking arrest

Jury: Austin police officer used excessive force in jaywalking arrest

A federal jury decided Friday that one Austin police officer used excessive force when he tackled, punched and handcuffed a man for jaywalking in downtown Austin, but the person who was arrested is not entitled to damages. The weeklong civil trial over the Nov. 6, 2015, incident concluded with the jury also determining that Austin police officers Brian Huckaby and Gustave Gallenkamp did not racially...
Austin man said he killed in self-defense after bracelet was stolen

Austin man said he killed in self-defense after bracelet was stolen

An Austin man who wanted to retrieve a stolen bracelet confronted a group of people he believed was behind the theft and ended up shooting one of them, resulting in his arrest on a murder charge. But Zachary Payne testified at his trial that he meant no trouble when he visited the Park Plaza apartments and that he pulled out his gun and began shooting only after his life was threatened. A Travis County...
Man found guilty of murder in dispute over $5 at Austin store

Man found guilty of murder in dispute over $5 at Austin store

Multiple surveillance videos led to a guilty verdict Friday in a murder trial that focused on a dispute over a loose $5 bill at an East Austin convenience store. Without hard proof that would have simplified the case, such as a confession or a recovered firearm, the videos gave a minute-by-minute account of the moments that preceded Carlos Swist being shot in the head on the morning of March 1, 2016...
BREAKING: Bastrop justice of the peace begins 15-day jail sentence

BREAKING: Bastrop justice of the peace begins 15-day jail sentence

Bastrop County Justice of the Peace Donna Thomson on Friday began a 15-day jail sentence for contempt of court after a judge found she failed to return several firearms to her ex-husband as part of a divorce settlement agreement and had testified she was not in possession of the guns. “Both parties testified under oath that they didn’t have the guns. If they ever pop up with (Thomson)...
Man gets 88 years for murder over $5 altercation in East Austin

Man gets 88 years for murder over $5 altercation in East Austin

Dedric Dixon was sentenced to 88 years in prison for killing Carlos Swist. The jury returned the verdict at about 7:40 p.m. Friday. Earlier: A Travis County jury found a man guilty of murder in the shooting death of a man over an argument over $5. Dedric Dixon, 46, faces up to life in prison at sentencing. Surveillance video at an East Austin convenience store showed Dixon arguing with victim Carlos...
Austin man innocent of murder in dispute over jewelry

Austin man innocent of murder in dispute over jewelry

Zachary Payne was found not guilty of murder and all other counts in the July 2016 shooting death of Alfred Matthews. The jury reached the verdict at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, determining that Payne had killed Matthews in self-defense. Payne also was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Earlier: An Austin man testified that he was defending himself when he shot...

Police identify 2 children killed in crash near Cedar Park Walmart

CEDAR PARK Police ID 2 children killed in crash Police have identified two children killed in a crash on Wednesday in Cedar Park near Walmart as 8-year-old Elijah Chaudhary and one-year-old Daniel Chaudhary. Zara Salman, 31, who was driving the 2016 Nissan that the children were in, remained in critical condition Thursday at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. Police said the Nissan collided...
Inspectors find credit card skimmer in 7-Eleven gas pump

Inspectors find credit card skimmer in 7-Eleven gas pump

Texas Department of Agriculture inspectors found and removed Thursday a credit card skimmer at a 7-Eleven fuel pump in North Austin, officials said.  The device was found at a pump at the convenience store at 9061 Research Blvd., officials said.  “The fuel station was unaware of the device’s presence and is not implicated in any illegal activity with regards to this device,&rdquo...
Rachel Cooke’s mother tells people not to give up looking for daughter

Rachel Cooke’s mother tells people not to give up looking for daughter

Please don’t give up. That’s what Janet Cooke told more than 40 people gathered outside Georgetown High School on Wednesday evening at the 16th annual remembrance ceremony for her missing daughter, Rachel Cooke. Janet Cooke told the crowd gathered at a tree planted in honor of her daughter in 2003 to not stop looking for her. “I know most of you here didn’t know Rachel and...
Adam Reposa’s contempt conviction upheld by state’s top criminal court

Adam Reposa’s contempt conviction upheld by state’s top criminal court

Austin defense attorney Adam Reposa’s appeal of his contempt of court conviction has likely reached an end after the state’s highest court declined his appeal. The Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday rejected a motion in which Reposa argued the judge in his trial had no authority to order his six-month jail sentence to be served without the possibility of early release for good behavior...
DPS bans items from Capitol it considers security threats during protests

DPS bans items from Capitol it considers security threats during protests

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced Thursday it was banning the public from bringing at least 20 items – including crow bars and liquid-filled balloons – onto the state Capitol grounds to bolster safety during protests. RELATED: DPS identifies 2 arrested at anti-fascism Capitol protest The ban, which takes effect immediately, sought to prevent the appearance of “any item...
Police accuse man of punching 5-year-old, toddler in Montopolis in December

Police accuse man of punching 5-year-old, toddler in Montopolis in December

Austin police have accused a man of attacking two children on the same block in Southeast Austin last month, according to court documents filed Thursday.  Authorities booked Qvontay McKnight, 23, into the Travis County Jail last week on two counts of injury to a child. He remained in jail on Thursday with bail set at $85,000. In an arrest affidavit, a man told police that he was walking with...
Austin lawyer Reposa’s contempt appeal rejected by state’s highest court

Austin lawyer Reposa’s contempt appeal rejected by state’s highest court

Austin defense attorney Adam Reposa’s appeal of his contempt finding has likely reached an end after the state’s highest court declined to reverse a lower court’s ruling. The Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday declined Reposa’s motion for a writ of mandamus in which he argued the judge in his trial had no authority to order his six-month sentence to run day for day. Reposa ...

2 children killed in crash near Cedar Park Walmart, police say

CEDAR PARK 2 children killed in crash near Walmart Two children died in a crash near a Cedar Park Walmart on Wednesday afternoon, police officials said. A truck and a van crashed about 3:35 p.m. on West Whitestone Blvd. and Walton Way, near U.S. 183, officials said. The two children, who were traveling in the van, died at the scene, police said. A woman driving the van was taken to a hospital in critical...
Austin church director accused of covering up sexual incident on leave

Austin church director accused of covering up sexual incident on leave

A director at a North Austin church has been placed on leave after a woman reported online that he urged her to stay quiet about a sexual incident with a youth pastor when she was 17. The woman, Jules Woodson, was quoted in a blog post Friday accusing Tennessee megachurch pastor Andy Savage of having her perform oral sex on him in 1998 when he was a youth pastor at Parkway Baptist Church in The Woodlands...
Austin school district sued after aide assaulted special needs student

Austin school district sued after aide assaulted special needs student

The Austin school district is being sued in federal court over a 2016 classroom incident in which a frustrated staff member threw a trash bin and injured the face of a special needs student. Jennifer Hardison, who at the time was a teacher’s aide at Small Middle School in Southwest Austin, pleaded guilty in February 2017 to misdemeanor assault bodily injury after originally being charged with...
Missionary with Liberty Hill ties sentenced to 40 years for child sex tourism at Haitian orphanage

Missionary with Liberty Hill ties sentenced to 40 years for child sex tourism at Haitian orphanage

A missionary who used to live in Liberty Hill has been convicted on child sex tourism charges and sentenced to 40 years in prison, federal officials said Wednesday. Daniel John Pye, 36, was convicted in November of three counts of foreign commerce with the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor. His trial in Florida lasted a week, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice...
UPDATE: No threat on campus after gunshots reported near Johnson Wildflower Center, UT police say

UPDATE: No threat on campus after gunshots reported near Johnson Wildflower Center, UT police say

4:45 p.m. update: Authorities have determined there is no threat on campus after someone reported hearing gunshots at the Johnson Wildflower Center, in South Austin off MoPac Boulevard. University of Texas and Austin police have cleared the scene, officials said. UT runs the Johnson Wildflower Center. Earlier: University of Texas police are responding to a report of audible gunshots Wednesday at the...
Austin police looking for RV seller who cashed buyer’s check but never delivered vehicle

Austin police looking for RV seller who cashed buyer’s check but never delivered vehicle

Austin police are asking the public to help them find a man accused of stealing money in an auto sale. According to police, a buyer responding to a Craigslist ad for a recreational vehicle for sale had arranged to buy the RV and mailed the seller a cashier’s check. Police said the suspect cashed the check at an Austin bank but never delivered the RV to the meeting place where the buyer was to...
Church director on leave after being accused of covering up 1998 sexual incident

Church director on leave after being accused of covering up 1998 sexual incident

A director at a North Austin church has been placed on leave after a woman reported online that he urged her to stay quiet about an alleged sexual incident with a youth pastor when she was 17. The woman, Jules Woodson, was quoted in a blog post Friday accusing Andy Savage of having her perform oral sex on him in 1998 when he was a youth pastor at Parkway Baptist Church in The Woodlands,...
Security for thousands of Austin buildings compromised, city memo says

Security for thousands of Austin buildings compromised, city memo says

The security systems at thousands of high-occupancy apartment and commercial buildings in Austin are being replaced after a burglary suspect was found to be in possession of a master key to lockboxes that first responders use, city officials said Tuesday. In November, authorities arrested 28-year-old Anthony Kavanaugh on the suspicion that he had burglarized at least two different medical properties...
Austin police seek input to improve body-worn camera policy

Austin police seek input to improve body-worn camera policy

The Austin Police Department is looking to fine-tune its body-worn camera policy to address issues that have come up since it equipped officers in most of Austin with the devices last year. Assistant Chief Ely Reyes discussed the policy with members of Austin’s Public Safety Commission during their first meeting of the year on Monday, and said the department has received about a dozen recommendations...

Person killed, 2 injured in Georgetown crash

GEORGETOWN Person killed, 2 injured in crash One person died and two people were taken to a hospital after a crash Tuesday in Georgetown, police said. The people involved have not been identified. They were all inside of a car traveling north in the 3200 block of Interstate 35 when it crashed and landed upside down in Berry Creek, according to a press release from the Georgetown Police Department...
Austin man was shot over $5, prosecutors say as murder trial begins

Austin man was shot over $5, prosecutors say as murder trial begins

At the Bill Doran Company, Carlos Swist was what his supervisor called the “hot shot guy.” He was the truck driver they sent to Dallas on Sundays to bring back shipments of flowers to send out for the following day. So it was a bit unsettling when the cellphone of such a dependable employee went straight to voicemail after he headed out for soda and smokes as the work day was getting started...
Austin police seek help solving killing on South Congress Avenue last year 

Austin police seek help solving killing on South Congress Avenue last year 

Austin police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person who killed a man in the parking lot of a South Austin apartment complex in May. Officers responded to a shots fired call at 7:09 a.m. on May 19 and found 51-year-old Van Kevin White in the parking lot of 611 S. Congress Ave., just south of Riverside Drive, with obvious trauma to his body, police said. White was taken to a hospital...
Lawyer accuses Austin police of racism in civil trial over jaywalking arrest

Lawyer accuses Austin police of racism in civil trial over jaywalking arrest

Opening statements got underway Tuesday in a federal civil trial over a lawsuit alleging that Austin police racially targeted and beat three people arrested for jaywalking in 2015. The trial comes amid a roiling debate over independent oversight and accountability at the Austin Police Department, which had become a major sticking point in recent contract negotiations between the city...
Video catches confrontation at center of murder trial over $5

Video catches confrontation at center of murder trial over $5

Jurors in a Travis County murder trial saw surveillance video of the convenience store confrontation that police say led to a fatal shooting on the morning of March 1, 2016 in East Austin. The video shows Carlos Swist dropping a five-dollar bill on the ground as he removed money from his shorts to pay for items at a Sunoco store. He soon realized his mistake and bent down to grab the bill. But another...
Supreme Court lets Kleinert ruling on Austin police shooting stand

Supreme Court lets Kleinert ruling on Austin police shooting stand

The U.S. Supreme Court will not take up a case involving a former Austin police detective who fatally shot a man in July 2013. The decision by the nation’s highest court means that rulings by lower courts will stand in the case against Charles Kleinert, who fatally shot Larry Jackson during a bank robbery investigation. Kleinert has said his gun accidentally fired when he was trying arrest Jackson...
Police: Man fired gun from moving vehicle in Pflugerville

Police: Man fired gun from moving vehicle in Pflugerville

A man riding in the passenger seat of a pickup traveling 100 mph was arrested after firing a gun several times at another vehicle on Texas 130 on Friday, according to a Pflugerville police arrest affidavit. The passengers of the car that was shot at pursued the vehicle while on the phone with police, the affidavit states. It says four or five shots could be heard during the 911 call. Police found...
Cars burglarized in Leander, two men wanted by police

Cars burglarized in Leander, two men wanted by police

Leander police are searching for two men suspected of burglarizing several vehicles early Saturday morning in the Northside Meadows subdivision. Authorities say the burglaries occurred around 5 a.m. Saturday, with several items taken from unlocked vehicles in the neighborhood near U.S. 183 and Hero Way in Leander. One resident provided authorities with video surveillance of one of the suspects, which...
Police: South Austin man killed cat while ‘playing around’

Police: South Austin man killed cat while ‘playing around’

A South Austin man was holding a cat underwater and admitted things “went too far” after the cat died Saturday, according to an Austin police arrest affidavit. Police received a call for a welfare check at 7:03 a.m. on Johnathan Wong, 28, whose girlfriend said he was feeling suicidal, the affidavit stated. Wong had admitted to harming one of his girlfriend’s cats the night before...
Commentary: Let’s make 2018 the year we value safety in Texas

Commentary: Let’s make 2018 the year we value safety in Texas

Someone I know was in a minor car crash recently. The car was hit from behind by a driver who was using a cellphone, causing damage to both vehicles, but nobody was hurt. The police were called, and though the officer was told that the driver who caused the crash was using a cellphone, no tickets were issued. The officer left without filing any kind of accident report. When I heard this story, I was...
Round Rock police: Officers shoot, wound man who fired at them

Round Rock police: Officers shoot, wound man who fired at them

Police officers shot and killed a man in Round Rock early Saturday after responding to reports of a prowler, officials said. They said the man fired at the officers when they tried to arrest him. Police received a call about 3 a.m. that a man dressed in black was walking around cars near the 1900 block of Red Rock Drive. The two arriving officers found a man who matched the description and discovered...
Kidnapped Round Rock girls returning to Texas, CPS official says

Kidnapped Round Rock girls returning to Texas, CPS official says

The two girls who were safely recovered Wednesday in Colorado after being kidnapped from their Round Rock home were returning Friday to Texas, an official said, while the state is seeking to end the parental rights of their fathers. Terry Miles, 44, the roommate of the girls’ slain mother, has been charged with kidnapping 14-year-old Lilianais Victoria Cake Griffith and her sister, 7-year-old...

Police investigating robbery at Northwest Austin bank

NORTHWEST AUSTIN Police investigating bank robbery An IBC Bank branch in Northwest Austin was robbed Friday, Austin police said. Police responded at 12:32 p.m. to the bank in the 10400 block of FM 2222, police said. A man entered the bank and demanded money, police said. He was armed with a handgun. Employees gave him cash, and he left the bank. The man is described as about 6 feet tall, possibly...
Future of Austin’s police monitor’s office, oversight panel in question

Future of Austin’s police monitor’s office, oversight panel in question

When Austin city officials opened their police monitor’s office in February 2002, they credited a police employment contract for giving the new oversight agency unfettered access to confidential internal affairs records about officer misconduct allegations. Police union and city officials touted the decision to allow civilians working in the monitor’s office, and an affiliated citizens...
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