Blotter: Police investigate break-in, vandalism at North Austin mosque


Police investigate vandalism at mosque

Vandalism at a mosque Sunday morning has prompted the Muslim community to place armed security officers at the mosque at night.

The North Austin Muslim Community Center said the break-in and vandalism occurred about 1:30 a.m. when an alarm system was triggered. Police and mosque administrators checked on the property and discovered several broken windows and a slashed tire on a vehicle in the parking lot, according to the center’s Facebook page.

An investigation is ongoing, police said. Investigators gave no information on their progress Monday.

Security camera footage shows what appears to be an 18- to 24-year-old white man entering the property through a wooden fence. He then moved to the front of the building, where he broke the glass of the front entrance, then ran to a side entrance to break the glass of a door and window, the center said.

The video shows the person moving into the parking lot to puncture a tire.

The mosque said the incident was reported to police as a hate crime.

“Starting from tonight, an armed security personnel will be present on the property from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day until is deemed unnecessary,” the online post said. The center also plans to install a higher-quality security camera system that would produce footage with higher resolution.

The post said Sunday’s incident is not the first time the mosque has faced vandalism. An incident less than two years ago prompted mosque leaders to hire daily security personnel at a cost of $6,000 per month.

It’s unclear whether any security people were on site when Sunday morning’s break-in occurred.

— Brandon Mulder, American-Statesman staff

Pedestrian seriously hurt by car

A man hit by a car on Braker Lane was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to a tweet from Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services on Monday morning.

The incident happened in the 1200 block of West Braker Lane, the tweet said. No further information was available.

— American-Statesman staff


Police: Teen attempted to bribe officer

An 18-year-old told a police officer he’d give him $200 to drive him home instead of taking him to jail, according to an arrest affidavit. His offer led the officer to charge him with bribery, the document says.

The teenager, Skylar Cuthbertson, was booked into the Travis County Jail on the felony charge, according to the affidavit.

Police said an officer was approaching the intersection of West Slaughter Lane and South Congress Avenue about 3:45 a.m. Saturday when he saw Cuthbertson flailing his arms, appearing as though he was flagging the officer down.

Cuthbertson said when the officer slowed down and engaged him, the teenager was listening to music and feeling “the beats,” the affidavit says.

Cuthbertson was showing several signs of intoxication, police said, and he was taken to the city’s sobriety center after his mother refused to come and pick him up. But Cuthbertson was rejected from the center after he became uncooperative and combative with staffers, prompting an officer to take him to jail, the affidavit says.

“I’ll give you … 100 bucks to take me home,” he told an officer while en route to the jail, later upping his offer to $200, police said.

“How does that sound? You can’t resist 200 bucks,” Cuthbertson continued, according to police. “Are you down for that? I got you.”

The affidavit says he continued offering bribes to the officer as well as jail staffers.

Cuthbertson was released from jail Sunday afternoon.

— Brandon Mulder, American-Statesman staff


Teen killed in ATV crash

A teenager was killed in an ATV crash in Wimberley on Saturday, said Lt. Todd Riffe of the Hays County sheriff’s office.

The crash happened at 4 p.m. in the 10000 block of RM 2325 on private property, Riffe said. The identity of the teenager was not being released Monday pending notification of next of kin.

No one else was involved in the crash, Riffe said, and officials are waiting on autopsy results to determine the cause of death.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman staff

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