Austin police ID 30-year-old killed in crash near downtown on Monday


Police ID 30-year-old killed in crash Monday

Austin police have identified a 30-year-old driver who was killed Monday in a crash near downtown Austin as Pinkeshkumar Dineshbhai Patel.

Police say Patel was driving east on West Cesar Chavez Street near North Lamar Boulevard around 3:45 p.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and veered into the westbound lanes of traffic, then slammed into a Ford F-150 pickup.

The driver of the truck was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with minor injuries, police said.

Patel was pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials. Police have not determined what caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the crash to call police at 512-974-8164.

Patel’s death was the 32nd traffic fatality on Austin roads so far this year, police said.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman


Possible suspect in H-E-B carjacking in custody

Cedar Park police on Thursday said they have arrested a possible suspect in a carjacking that occurred last weekend in an H-E-B parking lot.

Authorities had been looking for a man who forced a family out of their red 2015 Mazda CX5 in an H-E-B store parking lot at 2800 E. Whitestone Blvd. before driving away in the vehicle just after 10 p.m. on July 7.

“Thanks to the help and reports of community citizens, a possible suspect has been located,” police said in a statement. “The man has been arrested on unrelated charges due to a warrant from another agency,”

Police declined to identify the man until charges are filed.

— American-Statesman staff


Credit card skimmer spotted at gas station off I-35

The Texas Department of Agriculture said an illegal credit card data skimmer was spotted last week at a gas station in San Marcos.

The skimmer, which can steal a victim’s financial data from credit cards, was discovered July 6 on pump No. 12 at the Exxon on the corner of Wonder World Drive and the Interstate 35 North frontage road, the department said in a statement Thursday.

“Local law enforcement removed the device and requested a delay in our notification of the public in order to facilitate identifying and apprehending the suspect,” department officials said.

To avoid being the victim of a skimmer, the department recommends using the pump closest to storefront so that you are in the line of sight of store personnel and making sure the security tape on the gas pump cabinet has not been torn. The safest way to pay is inside with cash.

The department said it looks for illegal credit card skimmers when it routinely inspects more than 400,000 fuel pumps statewide.

— American-Statesman staff


Suspicious death of 2-year-old on July 4 investigated

Kyle police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy on the Fourth of July, Police Chief Jeff Barnett said Wednesday.

Officers responded at around 6 p.m. to a home in the 300 block of Marquitos Drive after the boy’s parents called to report a medical issue, Barnett said.

When police arrived, the toddler was unresponsive and died inside the residence, officials said.

Barnett said police are investigating the incident as a suspicious death. Police declined to identify the child because they do not release the names of juvenile victims.

On Wednesday, Hays County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith said a preliminary autopsy indicated the child had “a number of worrisome findings,” but she would not elaborate further, pending final autopsy results.

Barnett said no charges have been filed.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said it is investigating with law enforcement and that the family had previous involvement with CPS.

A second child was in the residence at the time and was voluntarily taken to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin for an examination, Barnett said.

CPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins said the 9-month-old girl has been placed in foster care.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Body found in grassy area south of Austin airport

Sheriff’s deputies said they found a body Wednesday afternoon in southeastern Travis County.

Officials got a call at 2:28 p.m. about a suspicious smell near Blocker Lane and Von Quintus Road, which is just west of the Texas 130 toll road and south of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Deputies later found the body of a man in a grassy area, about 7 feet from the road, the Travis County sheriff’s office said.

Officials have not yet identified this person or how he died, but they said they hope to learn from an autopsy Thursday.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman


Trio kidnapped, robbed UPS driver, police say

Police have accused two men and a woman of kidnapping and robbing a UPS driver during a delivery in East Austin last month, on Wednesday, court documents said.

Edward Johnson Jr., 31, Michelle Macias, 30, and Christopher Martin, 23, face charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon Wednesday.

Johnson, Macias, and Martin were not in police custody Thursday, jail records showed.

Austin police allege in an arrest affidavit that the UPS driver was delivering packages on June 21 in the 1300 block of Rosewood Ave.

— Kelsey Bradshaw, American-Statesman

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