Woman wielding knife, killed by Austin officer last week identified


SOUTHEAST AUSTIN

Woman wielding knife killed by officer ID’d

The 20-year-old woman who was shot and killed by police after she approached an officer with a knife early Thursday was identified this afternoon as Leslie Yolanda Salazar.

The incident happened at a Southeast Austin home at the 7300 block of South Glenn Street. Officer Thomas Brown, who was also identified by the Austin Police Department, shot Salazar as she approached him with a knife, police have said.

Brown has been with the department for three years and is assigned to the Central East and South Central Patrol, officials said. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

Austin Police Department and the Travis County District Attorney’s office are still investigating the shooting.

— Bianca Quilantan, American-Statesman

LIBERTY HILL

Sheriff: Collision leads to robbery, high-speed chase

A robbery that happened after a minor collision in Liberty Hill on Sunday night prompted a chase by law enforcement officials, who stopped their pursuit after reaching speeds of more than 100 mph, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said Monday.

The two men inside the car are still being sought, Chody said.

A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter located the abandoned vehicle where it had crashed in the Bertram area about 10 minutes after authorities stopped chasing it, Chody said. Deputies who searched with dogs were unable to find the two men who had been in the car and were involved in the robbery, he said.

The incident started after the victim rear-ended a black Dodge Durango with two men in it on Ronald Reagan Boulevard near the Santa Rita Ranch subdivision area in Liberty Hill, Chody said.

Both vehicles pulled over in the subdivision visitors parking area, Chody said. The victim had the hood of his car open when one of the men who was in the Durango walked over with a wrench and disabled the battery of the victim’s car, said the sheriff.

The man then threatened the victim with the wrench and stole $50 from him. The victim’s girlfriend, who was driving behind the victim, saw the robbery and called 911 about 8 p.m., Chody said.

Investigators linked the license plate of the Durango to a home in the Leander area and then saw the vehicle being driven near the home, he said. Leander police and Williamson County deputies tried to stop the vehicle but the driver led officers on a chase involving speeds of more than 100 mph, Chody said.

The chase took place on several roads, including Bagdad Road and county roads 281, 283 and 284, with the Durango driving into oncoming lanes at times, he said.

Law enforcement officials decided to stop the chase 20 minutes after learning more details about the robbery and determining the robbers were not an immediate threat to public safety, Chody said.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman

TAYLOR

Police: Bicyclist struck, killed by dump truck

A 40-year-old bicyclist was run over and killed by a dump truck Monday afternoon in Taylor, police said.

Michael Webb, of Taylor, died at the scene at Sixth and North Main streets, a news release said.

The dump truck was headed east on West Sixth Street and was making a right turn to go south on North Main Street, the release said. Webb was riding north on the sidewalk on North Main Street and had just entered the crosswalk when he was hit by the dump truck and run over, the release said.

Webb suffered massive internal injuries as well as head injuries, according to the release. Taylor police were alerted at 3:06 p.m. Monday about the incident.

Taylor police and the Texas Department of Public Safety are investigating. It was Taylor’s first traffic fatality this year.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman

ROUND ROCK

Man charged with child pornography

Williamson County sheriff’s detectives arrested a man in Round Rock on Tuesday in connection with a child pornography charge, according to a news release.

Pedro Nimaja-Pol, 38, of Round Rock, was charged with possession of child pornography.

Detectives began investigating in March after receiving a report from Instagram that Nimaja-Pol was uploading child pornography images, the release said. Investigators arrested him after a search of a house at 1800 Plateau Vista Blvd. in Round Rock on Tuesday, the release stated.

Nimaja-Pol was being held in the Williamson County Jail on Tuesday with no bail amount set as of yet.

According to the release, detectives are still retrieving images from electronic devices seized at the house.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman

TAYLOR

Police investigating shooting

Taylor police are investigating the shooting Monday of a 31-year-old man who is currently being treated at a local hospital, a news release said.

Juan Palacio, 31, of Taylor, was shot in the upper chest and arm and is in stable condition at Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock, police said.

Investigators found the vehicle in which Palacio was shot in the northeast portion of the parking lot at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center, 305 Mallard Lane in Taylor. Palacio was initially treated there, police said.

Hospital staff went outside and brought Palacio into the facility, but he was later transferred to another hospital because of the severity of his wounds, according to police.

Investigators think the shooting happened in Taylor and are asking anyone with information to call Taylor Police Detective Vincent Clifford at 512-352-5551.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman

AUSTIN

215 DWI arrests made in 19 days

Police made 215 arrests for driving while intoxicated between Memorial Day weekend and the last day of the Republic of Texas Rally, officials said Monday.

The Austin Police Department held a No Refusal Initiative from May 24 to June 11. During that period, detectives assisted officers in applying for blood search warrants when suspects under arrest for DWI refused to take a breath or blood test.

Police collected 81 breath and 41 blood samples with consent, and a total of 93 blood search warrants were issued.

Of those arrests, the following had enhanced charges:

  • 35 breath samples taken with consent and over .15 blood alcohol concentration.
  • 19 Class A misdemeanor DWIs with a prior conviction.
  • 17 felony DWIs with two or more prior convictions.
  • 6 felony DWIs with a child passenger.
  • 1 intoxication assault.

— Bianca Quilantan, American-Statesman

ROUND ROCK

Woman accused of stealing money from church

A Round Rock woman has been accused of stealing almost $4,000 from an early childhood school operated by Lifepointe Fellowship Church in Hutto, according to an arrest affidavit released this month.

Cynthia Lynn Heaney, 51, was charged with theft, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Heaney was responsible for collecting payments from parents of students, making receipts and depositing the money into the church’s bank account, the affidavit said.

It said a church director contacted Hutto police in January after finding discrepancies between what five different families should have paid and the receipts for the payments.

One parent told police she paid $600 per month beginning in September but receipts showed she had only paid $200 that month and $320 in October, the affidavit said.

Police determined that Heaney had stolen a total of $3,940 during 2017 from the church’s early childhood school, according to the affidavit.

It said an investigator sent Heaney a letter on April 2 asking to speak with her but Heaney did not respond to the letter by May 1.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman



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