Woman pepper-sprayed, bit Austin officers, affidavit says


Woman pepper-sprayed, bit Austin officers, affidavit says

A woman who refused to leave a hotel room Monday at the Domain has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a public servant after she pepper-sprayed and bit Austin police officers, according to court records.

An arrest affidavit filed Tuesday stated that officers were called to Aloft Austin at the Domain, 11601 Domain Drive, at around 7:30 p.m. Monday. They responded after the hotel’s manager called to report a woman who had not paid for her sixth-floor room and refused to leave.

Police identified the woman in the room as Cara Riccardi, 36, the affidavit stated.

Officers told Riccardi to leave the room. The affidavit said she again refused and tried to slam the door.

One of the officers used his baton to keep the door open, but as he did so, the woman reached outside and pepper-sprayed the officers. One of the officers was sprayed on the arm, while another was sprayed in his right eye and face.

Two other officers arrived and broke into the room after the woman inside began banging a chair against a window.

The officers ordered the woman to drop the chair, but then she ran at the officers. One tried to use his stun gun but it didn’t work, and in an ensuing struggle, Riccardi bit an officer on the arm and left a circle of teeth marks on his skin, the affidavit stated.

“(The officer) was only able to get Riccardi to release his arm from the grip of her jaws by delivering strikes to her face,” the affidavit read.

Riccardi was booked into the Travis County Jail at around 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Her combined bail has been set at $45,000, jail records show.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman


Man mad about room rate set fire at hotel, police say

A man is accused of setting a fire in a Taylor hotel Saturday after arguing with a front desk clerk about getting a discount on a room, an arrest affidavit said.

John Petzold Jr., 44, of Taylor was charged with arson, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. Police were notified at 8:06 p.m. Saturday after a fire in some bedding material placed in an attic had been extinguished at the Taylor Village Inn at 1907 N. Main St., the affidavit said.

A front desk clerk said video from a security camera showed Petzold on the second floor of the hotel walking toward the attic holding bedding material and then stopping at the attic, according to the affidavit. It said the video showed a spark and then the flaming bed material was thrown into the attic.

The front desk worker said Petzold was upset with him after discussing a possible discount on the room he was renting, the affidavit said.

Petzold was being held Tuesday at the Williamson County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman


9 displaced after fire at mobile home, officials say

Four adults and five children have been displaced after a mobile home in East Austin caught fire Tuesday morning, Austin fire officials said.

Fire officials responded to the blaze, which heavily damaged the home’s attic, around 10:55 a.m. in the 11900 block of Green Grove Drive near Texas 130, they said.

Fire in an exterior wall extended into the roof, fire officials said, but residents were able to salvage most of their belongings, fire officials said.

The Travis County fire marshal is investigating the incident, and Central Texas Red Cross was assisting the family.

— Kelsey Bradshaw, American-Statesman


4 teens charged in armed robberies, affidavit says

Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with two armed robberies that happened on Saturday in North and Southeast Austin, according to Travis County Jail records.

Rogelio Vasquez-Delgado, Juan Mejia and Josue Romero-Posada, all 18, along with Nelson Reyes, 17, have been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, records show.

Arrest affidavits filed against the teens said they pointed guns at three people in two separate incidents in which they made off with phones, wallets and jewelry before they were arrested.

In interviews with police, the teens admitted to various parts of the robberies, their affidavits said.

All four men are being held at the Travis County Jail, each with bail set at $80,000, records show.

Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony, punishable by five to 99 years in prison.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman

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