Crime

20 arrested after Taylor-based cocaine trafficking operation

20 arrested after Taylor-based cocaine trafficking operation

Federal and state authorities arrested 20 people and charged them with having a role in a narcotics distribution ring operating in the Taylor area, U.S. Department of Justice officials said Friday.  Among those arrested is 42-year-old Horace Caruther, a man federal officials said is the “ringleader” of the drug ring. From July 2016 though October, this organization was responsible...
Trump inauguration riot trial goes to the jury

Trump inauguration riot trial goes to the jury

The first trial of nearly 200 Inauguration Day protesters charged with rioting, conspiracy to riot and destruction of property went to a jury Friday afternoon, a month after it began. Freelance photojournalist Alexei Wood of San Antonio and five other defendants could receive more than 50 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted. The judge dropped one felony count of inciting...
Doctor charged with illegally recording sex at West Lake Hills home

Doctor charged with illegally recording sex at West Lake Hills home

Austin police have charged a College Station doctor with illegally recording a woman without her knowledge during what she has alleged was a sexual assault. According to an arrest affidavit, Dr. Anthony Amoroso is charged with invasive visual recording, a state jail felony for which he could receive up to two years behind bars. The document, filed Thursday, said police conducted a forensic search...
APD chief responds to viral video of police punching man during arrest

APD chief responds to viral video of police punching man during arrest

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has weighed in on a video that has gone viral that shows officers punching and using a stun gun on a man during an arrest, saying that additional footage from a nearby security camera helps fill in gaps left by the viral video. A bystander recorded the video, which captures an incident that took place outside a convenience store Tuesday evening in downtown...
Chief: Police shoot, injure man suspected of fatally stabbing woman

Chief: Police shoot, injure man suspected of fatally stabbing woman

An Austin police officer shot and critically injured a man authorities suspect stabbed a woman to death at a Central Austin apartment complex Friday morning. Police did not identify the victim, the suspect or the officer who fired his weapon on the 5000 block of Lynnwood Street, where the stabbing took place. “It is obviously with great sadness that we lost someone today,” interim Police...

Man injured after cars crash into pole in North Austin

NORTH AUSTIN EMS: Man injured after cars hit pole A crash involving two vehicles that slammed into a pole in North Austin pinned one man in a car Friday afternoon, officials said. The crash happened shortly after 1 p.m. near North Lamar Boulevard and West Yager Lane. Medics extracted the man and took him to Dell Seton Medical Center for treatment, a spokesman for the Austin/Travis County Emergency...
Commentary: End Texas’ long history of abusing juveniles in detention

Commentary: End Texas’ long history of abusing juveniles in detention

Ten years ago, I published a commentary in this newspaper on the physical and sexual abuse of youth in Texas’ juvenile correctional facilities. Noting that adult officials had participated in or sanctioned the abuse of youth placed in their care, I warned that the state had traveled this path several times before. Today’s reports sadly echo the lurid inventory of abuses that has characterized...
UPDATE: Officers did everything they could to save stabbing victim, chief says

UPDATE: Officers did everything they could to save stabbing victim, chief says

10:06 a.m. update: Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers did everything they could to save a woman who was stabbed to death in Central Austin during a violent incident that ended with an officer opening fire Friday morning. Manley said officers received a call at 6:38 a.m. for a disturbance between a man and a woman at an apartment complex in the 5000 block of Lynwood Street. ...

Motorcyclist dies after falling more than 20 feet from U.S. 183

NORTH AUSTIN Motorcyclist dies after falling from U.S. 183 A motorcyclist has died from his injuries after he fell about 20 to 25 feet Tuesday from U.S. 183 onto Research Boulevard, Austin police said. The man was pronounced dead at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, police said. The motorcyclist was involved in a crash with another vehicle. Police said they will release more information about their investigation...
Police search for 4 men who stole from ATM after assaulting worker

Police search for 4 men who stole from ATM after assaulting worker

Cedar Park police are searching for four men who took cash from an ATM after assaulting a technician who was working on it Thursday afternoon in a credit union parking lot. Police were notified at 2:41 p.m. Thursday that four men got out of a vehicle and assaulted the maintenance technician in the parking lot at the Austin Telco Federal Credit Union at 511 North Bell Blvd., a news release said. The...
Viral video shows Austin police punching man during arrest; APD chief responds

Viral video shows Austin police punching man during arrest; APD chief responds

The interim Austin police chief has weighed in on a video that has gone viral that shows an Austin police officer punching a man during an arrest. The video, which captures an incident that took place outside a convenience store Tuesday evening in downtown Austin, was viewed 1.5 million times as of Thursday night, with many of the viewers questioning the officers’ actions. Chief Brian Manley...
San Marcos officer mourned as a hero

San Marcos officer mourned as a hero

In the days since San Marcos police officer Kenneth Copeland died last week, Joe Fratangelo had been identifying himself to others as Copeland’s best friend. College fraternity brothers who later served as police officers together, they’d been friends for 38 years. “But after speaking with so many of you all,” Fratangelo said at Copeland’s funeral service Wednesday, &ldquo...
Man shot at North Austin apartment, EMS officials say

Man shot at North Austin apartment, EMS officials say

A man was found shot Wednesday afternoon at a North Austin apartment complex, and medics took him to the hospital, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said. The man has serious injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening, EMS officials said. He was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center. Police received the 911 call at 4:49 p.m. at Lamar Place Apartments, in the 6400 block of Burns Street. The...

Travis County man may have shot daughter before killing self

TRAVIS COUNTY Man may have shot daughter before killing self Authorities on Wednesday have identified a 9-year-old girl who was found dead Monday with her father in their southwest Travis County home. Evidence suggests that 42-year-old Yariv Kaplan man shot his daughter, Lielle, before turning the gun on himself, the Travis County sheriff’s office said. Lielle Kaplan’s death was ruled...
Williamson County joins federal program to help ICE with inmate checks

Williamson County joins federal program to help ICE with inmate checks

To speed up checks on criminal defendants suspected of being in the country illegally, the Williamson County sheriff’s office has entered into an agreement with federal authorities to train some of its officers to enforce immigration laws. Williamson County is among seven Texas counties to recently get approval for a growing program, known as 287(g), that gives local law enforcement the authority...
Gov. Abbott: Rangers to investigate sex abuse reports in youth lockup

Gov. Abbott: Rangers to investigate sex abuse reports in youth lockup

Gov. Greg Abbott called Wednesday for the Texas Department of Public Safety to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by employees of the state’s juvenile justice system. A November Dallas Morning News story revealed allegations of misconduct reminiscent of a 2007 sex scandal, which led to an overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system. Then, at least 13 boys were said to have...
Travis County man appears to have shot 9-year-old daughter before killing self, authorities say

Travis County man appears to have shot 9-year-old daughter before killing self, authorities say

Authorities on Wednesday have identified a 9-year-old girl who was found dead Monday with her father in their southwest Travis County home. Evidence suggests that 42-year-old Yariv Kaplan man shot his daughter, Lielle, before turning the gun on himself, the Travis County sheriff’s office said.  Lielle Kaplan’s death was ruled a homicide, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday...
Gov. Abbott: Investigate reported sexual abuse of locked-up youth

Gov. Abbott: Investigate reported sexual abuse of locked-up youth

Gov. Greg Abbott called on the Texas Department of Public Safety Wednesday to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by employees of the state’s juvenile justice system, following a Dallas Morning News report. The November story revealed allegations of misconduct reminiscent of a 2007 sex scandal, which led to an overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system. Then, at least 13...
Austin attorney Adam Reposa released from jail early

Austin attorney Adam Reposa released from jail early

12:05 p.m. Adam Reposa has been released from jail, according to a sheriff’s spokeswoman. He ended up serving 68 days behind bars. Earlier: Austin defense lawyer Adam Reposa has completed his sentence for contempt of court and is expected to be released from jail Wednesday, according to two of his attorneys. The Travis County jail’s website has adjusted Reposa’s release...
UT police: Man took ‘inappropriate’ photos of women on campus

UT police: Man took ‘inappropriate’ photos of women on campus

University of Texas police said they are looking for victims of a man accused of taking pictures under women’s clothing on the grounds of the campus’s South Mall, according to media reports On Oct. 31, UT police arrested the suspect, 54-year-old Alfredo Diaz, and charged him with invasive visual recording, Spectrum News reported. Authorities believe Diaz placed a camera facing up at the...
In visit to Austin, federal officials note Texas’ help in immigration

In visit to Austin, federal officials note Texas’ help in immigration

Federal immigration authorities say they are satisfied with the way most Texas law enforcement agencies have cooperated to assist in the removal of people who are suspected of living in the country illegally. As for Austin, there’s work to be done, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. Nielsen, who was in the city on Tuesday to discuss the importance of...
Austin attorney Reposa won’t serve 6 months in jail after all

Austin attorney Reposa won’t serve 6 months in jail after all

With prosecutors and the judge agreeing to back off from an unusually stiff sentence, defense attorney Adam Reposa will apparently get out of jail early on his contempt of court conviction. Reposa’s release date had not yet been set on Tuesday, but his lawyers are confident that if he behaves he’ll be home for Christmas, well before his expected release in early April. The Travis County...

Cedar Park teacher accused of assault of child she met at church

CEDAR PARK Teacher accused of assault of child A former Cedar Park Middle School teacher has been accused of having an improper relationship with a minor she met at a church in Austin, according to the Williamson County sheriff’s office. The victim did not attend the Cedar Park school, officials said. Nicole Marie Faires Andrews was charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony...
Deputies identify man found dead with child; his wounds were self-inflicted, officials say

Deputies identify man found dead with child; his wounds were self-inflicted, officials say

The Travis County sheriff’s office has identified the man who was found dead along with a young girl inside a southwestern Travis County home Monday, each apparently fatally shot. Yariv Kaplan, 42, was the man found dead, the sheriff’s office said. Officials said they are still working to confirm the child’s identity. Evidence indicates Yariv Kaplan’s injuries were...
Police: Man says he stole headstone from cemetery for Satanic worship

Police: Man says he stole headstone from cemetery for Satanic worship

An Austin man is accused of stealing a headstone from a Georgetown cemetery that he said was going to be used for an altar for Satanic worship, an affidavit said. Jeremiah Rhyne, 38, was charged with theft of grave property, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Police found the headstone from 1884 leaning against a living room wall on Oct. 15 inside an apartment at 550 W. 22nd...
Trump aide takes over as top federal prosecutor in Austin region

Trump aide takes over as top federal prosecutor in Austin region

A former member of President Donald Trump’s staff has been sworn in as the United States attorney for the Western District of Texas to prosecute federal crimes in the region that includes Austin. John F. Bash, who served as special assistant to Trump and associate White House counsel, took the oath Monday at the federal courthouse in San Antonio. A public swearing-in will take place in the future...
Affidavit: Teacher accused of having sex with student 11 or 12 times

Affidavit: Teacher accused of having sex with student 11 or 12 times

A former Cedar Park Middle School teacher is accused of having sexual contact 11 to 12 times with a male student from Vandegrift High School, according to an arrest affidavit. Nicole Marie Faires Andrews was charged with sexual assault of a child and improper relationship between an educator and student, both second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The boy told investigators...
Trump staff member appointed U.S. Attorney for Austin region

Trump staff member appointed U.S. Attorney for Austin region

A President Trump staff member has been sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas to prosecute federal crimes in the region that includes Austin. John F. Bash, who served as special assistant to Trump and associate White House counsel, took the oath Monday at the federal courthouse in San Antonio. In August, the American-Statesman, citing a source, reported Texas Sens...

Police: Woman holds stalking suspect with stun gun until help arrives

SAN MARCOS Police: Woman holds stalking suspect with stun gun A 24-year-old man who authorities say broke into a woman’s apartment and watched her sleep may also be connected to other break-ins, according to San Marcos police. Chaitanya Cherukuri faces felony charges of burglary of a habitation and stalking, as well as a misdemeanor charge of voyeurism. Bail for the charges was set at $140,000...
Executive director named for Austin’s future sobriety center

Executive director named for Austin’s future sobriety center

The director of the city’s future sobriety center — a building where Austin police officers will be able to bring intoxicated people instead of taking them to jail or a hospital — was introduced Monday at the center’s future site. Rhonda Patrick, who was most recently CEO of Behavioral Heath Alliance of Texas and has previously served as a consultant and adviser for sobriety...
After double-murder, slain San Marcos officer was source of comfort

After double-murder, slain San Marcos officer was source of comfort

Aly Laifer worked at the Chipotle in downtown San Marcos from 2011 until 2014. As in many other cities, the restaurant, nestled just off the Texas State University campus on North LBJ Drive, was a favorite spot for local cops. She first met San Marcos police officer Kenneth Copeland there about six years ago. She said he would come in two to three times a week, and if her break lined up with his visit...
Man, girl found dead with gunshot wounds in southwestern Travis County

Man, girl found dead with gunshot wounds in southwestern Travis County

Six hours after a sheriff’s deputy’s check on a southwestern Travis County home turned into an emergency search that ended with the discovery of two bodies, a detective walked out of the single-story brick house with a pink, heart-shaped pillow in hand. Travis County authorities on Monday said they found a man and a young girl dead inside the home, each apparently shot. A white Audi convertible...
NEW INFO: Funeral procession for slain San Marcos police officer planned for Wednesday 

NEW INFO: Funeral procession for slain San Marcos police officer planned for Wednesday 

San Marcos officials have announced visitation plans Tuesday and the route for the funeral procession Wednesday for officer Kenneth Copeland, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant last week.  The public is welcome for visitation at the Thomason Funeral Home at 2001 Old Ranch Road 12 from 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.  The procession will leave the funeral home at 8 a.m...
UPDATE: Kyle police call off search for burglary suspect

UPDATE: Kyle police call off search for burglary suspect

3:15 p.m. update: Kyle police have called off the search for a burglary suspect, who is still on the run, officials said. Police said they are questioning another suspect detained near the 100 block of Hiver in the Meadows of Kyle neighborhood, where a burglary was reported about 1 p.m. Monday. Lehman High School, which is in the area, went on a voluntary lockdown while police searched for the suspect...
Woman wields stun gun to hold stalking suspect until help arrives, police say

Woman wields stun gun to hold stalking suspect until help arrives, police say

A 24-year-old man who authorities say broke into a woman’s apartment and watched her sleep may also be connected to other break-ins, according to San Marcos police.  Chaitanya Cherukuri faces felony charges of burglary of a habitation and stalking, as well as a misdemeanor charge of voyeurism. Bail for the charges was set at $140,000 but Cherukuri bonded out and was no longer in the...
Police: Aggravated robbery reported at Texas State, suspect on loose

Police: Aggravated robbery reported at Texas State, suspect on loose

Texas State University police are asking for the public’s help locating a man who committed an aggravated robbery on campus Friday. Police said they received a report Sunday afternoon of the robbery that happened Friday at 9:30 p.m. in the breezeway of Building 7 at Bobcat Village. They described the robber as a man, approximately 6’2”, wearing a dark hooded pullover, dark jeans...
Police: Man arrested with more than 500 grams of meth

Police: Man arrested with more than 500 grams of meth

A man police pulled over for an improper lane change was arrested in possession of enough methamphetamine for 5,090 individual doses Wednesday, according to an arrest affidavit. Cory Patton, 24, seemed “very nervous” and was “shaking” when a police officer pulled him over in the 500 block of W. Anderson Lane for crossing several lanes of traffic and causing other vehicles to...
Police: Man pointed loaded gun at officers during protest

Police: Man pointed loaded gun at officers during protest

A man was arrested after he pointed a loaded handgun at an officer who had fallen to the ground during a scuffle at a protest near the state Capitol on Saturday, according to an arrest affidavit. Police were attempting to escort two opposing groups marching to the Capitol, the affidavit said. Both Department of Public Safety officers and Austin police were on scene during a midday Saturday protest...
Ex-priest gets life in prison for 1960 parishioner slaying

Ex-priest gets life in prison for 1960 parishioner slaying

A jury has sentenced a former priest to life in prison for the strangulation death of a female parishioner 57 years ago. The Hidalgo County jury deliberated just over four hours Friday before returning the maximum sentence for murder against 85-year-old John Bernard Feit. The same jury had found him guilty Thursday night in the 1960 killing of 25-year-old schoolteacher and former beauty queen Irene...

Amid snowfall, San Marcos community honors slain Officer Ken Copeland

As a crowd of people filled the grounds outside the Hays County historic courthouse on Thursday evening to honor and remember slain San Marcos police offficer Kenneth Copeland, snow flurries began to fall. By the end of the vigil, those in attendance were surrounded by a thin blanket of snow, illuminated by Christmas lights. “I think the snow is a sign” that Copeland was with them at the...
Task force founder retires from chasing fugitives to protect judges

Task force founder retires from chasing fugitives to protect judges

Nearly 15 years after Hector Gomez laid the foundation for the Austin-area component of the U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, he still remembers his first arrest with Austin police. “You always remember your first fugitive catch here in Austin,” Gomez said. In 2003, Gomez had been in touch with 18-year-old Alvaro Lee Contreras, an Austin man who’d fled across the...
AUSTIN CRIME: Thanksgiving Day shooting victim succumbs to wounds, police say

AUSTIN CRIME: Thanksgiving Day shooting victim succumbs to wounds, police say

A 23-year-old man died Wednesday from gunshot wounds he received in a shooting in Austin on Thanksgiving Day, Austin police said. Samuel Charlez was one of two men shot Nov. 23 on North Lamar Boulevard, just north of West Rundberg Lane, around 11:40 p.m., police have said. The second victim survived. Police said the shooter is 32-year-old Hector Guajardo-Garcia. Guajardo-Garcia was arrested Nov. 30...
FORT HOOD: Judge sentences Dripping Springs man for making death threats at the post

FORT HOOD: Judge sentences Dripping Springs man for making death threats at the post

A federal judge sentenced a Dripping Springs man Friday to 18 months in prison after he made threats to kill people at Fort Hood, federal officials said. In February, Thomas Anthony Chestnut Jr., 29, called Fort Hood officials and told a sergeant that he would go to the post, kill the sergeant, take hostages and commit a killing spree before taking his own life, U.S. Department of Justice officials...
Police: Couple stole thousands from Hutto elementary school PTA

Police: Couple stole thousands from Hutto elementary school PTA

A Parent Teacher Association vice president and her husband are accused of draining the account of the Ray Elementary PTA in Hutto dry by cashing more than $14,700 in unauthorized checks, according to an arrest affidavit. Natalie Hudson-Rapp, 40, and Clinton Rapp, 46, were both charged with theft, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Hudson-Rapp was the vice president of the...
Officer who shot road rage suspect in Burnet County identified

Officer who shot road rage suspect in Burnet County identified

Austin police have identified the off-duty officer who shot a man in Burnet County last week as detective Jason Jewett. Police said Jewett, a 19-year veteran of the department, came upon a suspected road rage incident as he drove home Nov. 30 near Marble Falls. Police said Jewett pulled over when he saw a man pointing a handgun at a car with a family of three inside. He got out, pulled his weapon...
5 tips for keeping Grinches from stealing your holiday deliveries

5 tips for keeping Grinches from stealing your holiday deliveries

Holiday shopping online is in full swing, but so is holiday theft on doorsteps. In Round Rock, police earlier this month launched Operation Front Porch, which allows residents to have packages delivered to police headquarters for safe-keeping. In return, residents are asked to donate to the police Blue Santa toy drive when they pick up their packages. For Austin residents, police recommend these tips...
One injured in East Austin shooting early Friday

One injured in East Austin shooting early Friday

An East Austin shooting left one person injured shortly before 5 a.m. Friday, authorities said.  The shooting happened in the 5100 block of Regency Drive in far East Austin near the intersection of East Martin Luther King Jr. and Ed Bluestein boulevards. Medics rushed the victim to Dell Seton Medical Center with injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening. 
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