Police looking for person of interest in South Austin hit-and-run


Police looking for person of interest in hit-and-run

Austin police say they have identified a person of interest in a hit-and-run crash that left one woman critically injured in South Austin earlier this month.

The crash occurred in a Walmart parking lot in the 700 block of East Ben White Boulevard at 2 a.m. on Feb. 9, officials said.

Police said a person driving a green truck struck a woman and left. The woman was taken by medics to a local hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Authorities later released a video of the incident, asking for the public’s help identifying the suspect.

On Wednesday, police said they had identified a person of interest in the crash but had not yet made an arrest.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Police searching for bank robbery suspect

Austin police are searching for a person they say robbed a North Austin bank on Thursday morning.

The robbery occurred at a Woodforest National Bank inside the Walmart in the 12900 block of North Interstate 35 near Parmer Lane about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, police said.

A person entered the bank and passed a note demanding money and then fled on foot leaving the bank without any cash, police said. No one was injured in the robbery, according to police.

Authorities released video surveillance of the suspect Thursday afternoon, who they described as a woman or possibly a man wearing a wig, who is between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall, has a thin build, and weighs about 140 pounds. The person was last seen wearing sunglasses, a black-hooded sweatshirt and white shoes, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Austin police’s robbery tip line at 512-974-5092.

Thursday’s is the 12th bank robbery in Austin this year, police said. This time last year, the city had tallied four bank robberies, with 18 total reported in 2017, authorities said.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Officials: UT student fell to his death

A University of Texas student died on Saturday after falling from a building in West Campus, according to Austin police.

Police received reports of the incident around 10:12 p.m. at 2505 San Gabriel St. and arrived to find the student, identified by University of Texas police as Lawrence Ray Emanuel III, suffering from life-threatening injuries.

Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services Capt. Darren Noak said Emanuel fell more than 40 feet, and was taken to the Dell Seton Medical Center.

“The loss of Lawrence is devastating to our entire university. We express our deepest sympathies to his family and friends,” the university said.

Officials said Emanuel was a senior in the College of Education.

Austin police said they are investigating the incident as an accidental death, pending the results of an autopsy.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman


ICE deports man wanted for killing in Mexico

A man arrested in Round Rock last year in connection with a killing in Mexico was deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on Wednesday, according to a statement from the agency.

Gregorio Galvan-Gutierrez, 60, was arrested by a fugitive task force on July 13 in Round Rock and taken to a detention center in South Texas, officials said.

Authorities in Mexico informed ICE that Galvan-Gutierrez was wanted for the shooting death of a man who was found on the side of a dirt road in San Francisco, a small community on the Pacific coast.

Mexican law enforcement found the man’s body on March 25, 2003, and a prosecutor later determined he had died from gunshot wounds, ICE said.

The Mexican government issued an arrest warrant for Galvan-Gutierrez for aggravated murder in connection to the crime.

On Wednesday, he was taken by ICE officers to the Texas-Mexico border and handed over to Mexican authorities, officials said.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Ex student arrested for social media threats

A former Leander student was arrested on Wednesday for posting threatening images to social media, including one saying he could have “shot up” a church, an arrest affidavit filed on Wednesday says.

Viet Quoc Duong, 18, was booked into the Travis County Jail on Wednesday on a charge of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony punishable up to 10 years in prison. He is being held on $25,000 bail, jail records show.

The arrest affidavit says the Leander school district safety director informed deputies on Wednesday morning about a “serious situation” at Vandegrift High School related to Duong.

The director said Duong, who was a former student at the school, had posted disturbing images to social media on Tuesday night while attending a high school choir performance, according to the document.

The affidavit says Duong had been kicked out of the choir group while he was still a student last year.

On Tuesday night, while the choir group was performing at University Presbyterian Church near the University of Texas campus, Duong posted a photo to his Instagram account at 10:10 p.m. sitting in a church pew with a caption that said, “Coulda shot up that church and it would’ve felt like Disneyland,” the affidavit says.

Another posted at 10:45 p.m. showed him in a vehicle holding a gun, the affidavit says.

The posts were circulated on social media by students at Vandegrift, who brought it to the attention of administrators, saying they were afraid of a school shooting, according to the document.

Deputies responded to Duong’s home and confiscated his phone, on which he had saved the photo of him with the gun that was posted from the same account as the image in the church, the report says.

The Vandegrift principal sent a letter to parents informing them of the incident.

“We have no information to suggest there is a threat to our campus,” the letter said.

Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Affidavit: Man arrested for stabbing girlfriend

Austin police have arrested a man they say stabbed his girlfriend multiple times at their East Austin home on Tuesday.

Gabriel Houston, 45, was booked into the Travis County Jail on Wednesday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon family violence, a first-degree felony punishable with up to life in prison. He is being held on $100,000 bail, jail records show.

According to an arrest affidavit, police responded Tuesday to a domestic disturbance in the 1100 block of Gunter Street after a caller reported her sister had been stabbed by her boyfriend.

When officers arrived, they found the woman and the man in the residence with injuries and both were taken to the hospital, the affidavit says.

The woman told police during an interview in the intensive care unit at Dell Seton Medical Center that she had been awakened in the middle of the night by her boyfriend, and when she refused his sexual advances, he hit her with a knife, the affidavit says.

She said she realized she had been stabbed and ran out of the room, the affidavit says. The woman said she feared Houston “would slit her throat,” so she jumped out of an upstairs window, the document says. Houston later dragged her back into the house, according to the affidavit.

Her last memory “was of Houston laying beside her and carving in his neck and arms,” the document says.

The woman reportedly sustained three stab wounds to the back and has a broken neck as a result of the incident, the affidavit says.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman

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