Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rest In Peace Daniel

My wife called me while I was at work, eating dinner. She told me Daniel was murdered today in south Houston. Somebody shot him dead and for what? While details are sketchy at this point let me share my own twisted eulogy. Daniel (pictured here with me in New Orleans in 2004) was a passive, gentle soul. He liked to relax and have a good time with his friends. In 2004, he accompanied us to New Orleans. This was his first trip. He loved it. Of course we started our trip by taking the group to our favorite bar. There we started the buzzing. If you cannot tell by the picture here, we're both a little buzzed. Later on that evening we went a bar where he dozed off. The bar wasn't very exciting. We then went to another bar where Daniel stumbled into the wrong restroom. When women came running out screaming he realized his mistake. Being the good friends we are, we pointed and laughed at him. He was planning on returning with us to New Orleans. Sadly that will never happen now. It's just insane. People kill people, and I don't know why.

KPRC has a brief news story. Click here to read it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lo siento, pero no puede apprender aqui!

The Houston Press Hairballs blog brings an interesting story that takes place in Houston's Spring Branch school district. A woman cannot get her kid enrolled into Edgewood Elementary school because her sons do not speak Spanish. I wonder if anyone at that school speaks English. This sounds like an argument for school vouchers to me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another Chronicle Heart String Story

The Houston Chronicle and ACLU, police hating attorney Randall Kallinen have teamed up to bring another story of someone making a terrible decision and trying to blame the police. In this story an illegal immigrant got stopped on traffic, presented a false ID card and got himself arrested. While waiting transport to the county jail he made an attempt to escape and was caught. According to the article, he was tazed and struck with a baton. According to the police hater Kallinen, that's excessive force. Obviously Kallinen wasn't there. Of course the article fails to mention that when training in the use of tasers and batons, there are target areas, and areas not to be struck. For example, baton training teaches to strike the arms, joints, legs, knees. It says that strikes to the throat, head, groin areas are off limits. If the police had to use these instruments to prevent the criminal from escaping than he was more than likely fighting them. However, all Kallinen sees is a platform and the family sees a pay out. Another instance where someone made a poor decision, but according to Kallinen and the Chronicle the blame lies with the police. After all, in Chronicle/Kallinen logic, nobody is responsible for their actions (except public servants).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Motorist Saved By Councilwoman and Uh, Er, Wasn't There Someone Else???

Houston Chronicle story here.

KHOU story here.

KTRK story here.

So far I've found three Houston news stories about Houston Councilwoman Jolanda Jones helping in rescuing a woman who drove her car off the Westpark Tollway. While I'll be the first one to say "good job Jolanda" I do see some problems with this. Recently, Jolanda got some bad press about her interfering in an arrest. Read each story and all three basically say the same thing, "Councilwoman Jones and good Samaritans help rescue a woman!" The KHOU story says;

"I’m like, man I’m not letting this lady die – not on my watch,” the elder Jones said."

I have some questions for the news media;
What were the names of the other good Samaritans who were already on the scene?
Why couldn't the news media interview them?
Why do we have to hear only from Jolanda?

Maybe I'm just too distrustful of news people nowadays.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Date With Justice

Today, inmate Michael Rodriguez is scheduled to meet with his fate. He was originally in prison for having his wife murdered in 1992, in San Antonio. In 2000, he, along with 6 other felons escaped from prison with help from his father. On Christmas Eve of that year, the Texas 7 robbed a sporting goods store. A call went out and Irving Police Officer Aubrey Hawkins was a short distance away having dinner with his wife and son. Officer Hawkins interrupted the hold up and was gunned down. The Texas 7 became one of the most (if not the most) intense manhunt the state of Texas ever embarked on. They were eventually captured in Colorado. One of the escaped felons killed himself rather than face the music. Since then, Rodriguez has dropped his appeals and claims he apologizes for the two deaths on his hands. He says he deserves to die. I couldn't agree more. So, as the click winds down for Rodriguez, let us take a moment to remember Irving Police Officer Aubrey Hawkins. Rest in Peace brother!

They Found Matthew

Remember Matthew Wilson? He was the scholarship Rice University student who mysteriously disappeared last December. The speculation was at first he was dead somewhere. Then, his car was found in Berkley, California (a hot bed of lunacy in my opinion). When that story broke I started thinking either he just wanted to start over on his own terms or, this was a rare case of dissociative fugue disorder. Well, he has been found alive on the Berkley campus. This leads me to believe he felt the lunatic asylum known as Berkley, California, was his true calling and he wanted to be there. He was located on campus using a stolen laptop. Whether or not he stole the laptop computer is unknown. I'm going to guess he abruptly took off for purely selfish reasons. I wouldn't be surprised to learn he has narcissism issues. He decides to drop everything and go to "the promised land" without telling anyone. He has his family worried to death and he had to realize this. If he's using a laptop he knows that his family and friends are looking for him. I'm interested to hear his reasons. I bet there will be a ploy for sympathy, yet behind the mask I feel he's basically a little brat.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Have you woken up and seen this guy?

Some residents in northern Harris County slept peacefully while this man was breaking into their homes. Most burglars prefer to operate in the day time hours while the residents are away. Not many have the gumption to actually break in while the homeowners are there. These are the most dangerous. How many times have we heard of people hurt or killed when they surprised a burglar in their own home? This guy has a tattoo on his neck and notice how he wears his watch on his right arm?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Murder in Vidor

Picture found here

We're back. My wife and I took a little road trip. I didn't realize that this was the first vacation I'd taken since 2006. What the hell is wrong with me? Anyway, for years as one drives down Interstate Highway 10 going east through Vidor, Texas, this sign stands tall. It's obvious that someone wants everyone to know the displeasure the sponsor has with the Vidor Police Dept. Well I finally decided to do some research to find out the details of this story;

On May 14, 1991, Katherine Page was found dead in a car. The scene appeared to be a staged traffic accident. However, the car had little damage and Mrs. Page had injuries consistent with being assaulted. Not to mention that she was strangled. So, if this was supposed to look like a traffic accident, the killer did a poor job covering up his crime. At the time, she was separated from her husband Steve.

Story here.

Due to time constraints (being I have other things to do and don't feel like scanning thousands of google hits) this was all I can find. From the sign, Steve lost in civil court. However the article doesn't discuss what evidence was presented in the civil case. It also doesn't discuss the issue of Mrs. Page's grave being vandalized. From what little information is presented one can surely suspect the husband, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt for murder isn't there. Is there more to this story? Or is this an angry parent throwing out unproven accusations?

Friday, August 8, 2008

You can't make this kind of stuff up...

Dateline: Beaumont, Texas (where things can get Hunter S. Thompson weird in a big hurry).

Several months ago, Beaumont PD conducted a vice investigation into a couple of local 'massage parlors'. Standard vice op: u/c officers go in a few times (well, six times). They make the case: It's $60 for the massage, plus a $100 'tip' for the happy ending. A judge signs a search warrant. They all stage up (giving the media time to respond to the scene, naturally) and make the bust on May 7, 2008.

But wait, there's more.

As the tale unfolds, in a planned multi-month investigation, the officers endeavored to make felony cases for promotion of prostitution rather than the usual misdemeanor busts. To do so, the u/c officers went in and actually engaged in sex acts. As articles in the local papers recounted the tale, the officer consulted with his spouse in advance to ensure it would not interfere with domestic harmony; BPD command staff were fully involved in the operational planning, and these guys were operating as directed, on city time and on the city's dime.

Somewhere along the way, the investigation gets cut short. To u/c officers were terminated. Two supervisors were suspended for several days, and two additional involved officers received reprimands. The felony cases against the suspects ended up being filed as misdemeanors. Just to make things all the worse, one of the defendants now claims the u/c officer was her 'boyfriend'. (Right...Look at the pictures, and you be the judge.)

The Chief of Police and City Manager have both upheld the terminations. Civil litigation has already been filed by one of the officers.

Morals of the story:
  • CYA, folks. Get it in writing and save a copy of the op plan.
  • Whether its TMPA, CLEAT, FOP, or whomever--get yourself covered.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Edouard Visits Galveston

Surfcam picture lifted from here

Harborcam picture lifted from here.

Picture lifted from here

Edouard made landfall this morning. So far so good up here in Fort Bend County. At this time we just have gray skies and light rain. No big deal. However the center of the storm is supposed to land around noon today.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pre-Edouard Video

Taken at a Valero station in Katy. This shows people scrambling to fill their cars with gas as an unrelated storm hovers in the northern sky.

Pre-Edouard Pictures

At a Randall's station on Mason in Katy A Valero station on Westgreen Blvd in Katy

Another storm looms in the northern sky

A shell station on S. Fry in Katy

Same station

Edouard Is Coming!!!!!!

Tropical Storm Edouard snuck up on us. I really wasn't paying attention and didn't realize there was a storm until yesterday. Of course all local governments are scrambling to prepare for the oncoming storm. Most police, medical, and other government workers are cancelling their previously planned vacations and now working twelve hour shifts. Others are sleeping for a couple of hours before they have to get in the wee hours of the morning and report to work at ungodly hours such as 3am or 6am. In an effort to keep people glued to the TV screens, the local Houston media has been airing footage of hurricanes tearing up buildings, and the infamous 2005 Hurricane Rita fiasco which had all the outgoing freeways clogged up with people trying to flee. As a result people are panicking and scrambling to hit the grocery stores and gas stations. Fortunately, I stopped last night and filled my tank. To anyone in the path of the storm, take precautions and be careful out there!