VIDEO HISTORY OF NEWS STORIES COVERED BY MCPR ON THIS DATE IN YEARS PAST
JANUARY 13, 2013
MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEPUTY SHOOTS AT CREDIT CARD THEFT SUSPECTS AT WOODLANDS MALL
Just before noon Wednesday Taud Damonn Washington , 41, a registered sex offender who had been released from TDCJ in July to a halfway house on Old Beaumont Road in Houston. decided to break into a vehicle at 24-hour fitness where the owner of the vehicle was working out. One of the items stolen was her credit card. Washington then decided to try a shopping spree in The Woodlands Mall using the stolen credit card. His first stop was at the Microsoft Store where he attempted a purchase. From there he moved on to Helzberg Jewelers where his purchase was denied on the stolen credit card. He then continued to Zales Jewelers who also declined his card. It was at this point the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the transactions and had units closing in on the mall. Mall security moved to the entrance of the business and in communications with the Sheriff’s Office gave them a play by play of his actions. Washington then left Zales and walked through Sears’s lower level before walking out to the parking lot. Deputies were arriving as Washington got into his 1997 XJ6 Jaguar. Woodlands Mall Security attempted to block him in with one of their SUV’s but Washington backed into it. With deputies arriving Washington ignored orders by a deputy to exit the vehicle. Instead, he accelerated toward the deputy who in fear of his life drew his service revolver and shot once through the windshield on the driver’s side. Luckily the shot missed Washington but it was enough for him to understand that deputies were serious in Montgomery County. Washington surrendered. There were no injuries. The security SUV received minor damage to the left rear and the Jaguar to the right rear. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene along with detectives with the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Gage also responded to check on his deputy and view the investigation as it continued. Washington was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon(the car). Washington is well known in the law enforcement communities from the coast to Conroe. Washington who also goes by the name Xavier Richards was first arrested in 1987 for aggravated robbery and spent only 37 days of a 10-year sentence for what was called Shock Probation. On April 18, 2000 he was arrested by the Deep East Texas Narcotics Task Force when he was found to have a firearm in his possession along with narcotics. He was given 2-years in State Jail on that charge in October of 2000. On June 11, 2000 Rice University Police arrested Washington on indecent exposure charges. The District Attorney’s Office in Harris County changed it from the class B misdemeanor to a Class A Misdemeanor and he was sentenced to 120 days in jail. On July 25, 2002 he was arrested by Houston Police for indecent exposure and was given 30-days in the Harris County Jail. Then on December 21, 2002 Houston Police arrested Washington for credit card abuse. for which he got 5-years probation which was later revoked and he was sent to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. But he hadn’t learned his lesson. On March 21, 2003, just 4-months later he once again was arrested for credit card abuse and criminal trespass and was given 14-months in State Jail. On July 21, 2004, and once again on August 18, 2004, Washington was arrested for credit card abuse and public lewdness Again on October 26, 2004, he was arrested in Conroe for credit card abuse. Those sentences were run concurrently when he was sentenced to 2-years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by the 284th District Court for the Montgomery County charge. On November 25, 2006, Houston Police once again arrested Washington for indecent exposure. This charge brought him 150 days in the Harris County Jail. On July 24, 2007, Houston Police arrested Washington once again for possession of a firearm by a felon. Two days later he was sentenced to TDCJ for 2-years. He was released from TDCJ and on September 5, 2009, he was arrested in Houston again for indecent exposure and sentenced in April 2010 to 180-days in the Harris County Jail. He was sent to TDCJ again in 2011 and released on September 29, 2012. More recent was on November 5, 2012, Washington was arrested for theft of property and sentenced a few days later to 20-days by a Harris County judge.
JANUARY 13, 2014
DPS DIVE TRAINING
Montgomery County Auto Theft had a report of a possible stolen vehicle in a lake in the Wood Trace area of Montgomery. Monday morning with the help of DPS they searched the lake and found nothing.
All was not lost, however. DPS and Montgomery County Auto Theft Division turned it into a joint training exercise.
There is only one DPS Dive Team in the state of Texas. It is made up of ten DPS Troopers who normally work patrol but when called upon response from the area in the state in which they work. Last year they responded to eighteen scenes and were on dive duty just over one hundred-sixty days. Troopers come from Texas City, Pearland, Hondo, Dilley and many other areas of the state.
Their boats are equipped with sonar for searching the bottom of a lake, airlines to supply divers as they work the bottom of the murky waters.
Montgomery County Auto Theft has one boat that they are able to use for such operation and have diving resources available as they need them.
After the search for the vehicle, divers suited up in their suits and covered the heavily weeded bottom of the lake finding logs, hacksaw, tires and several other small objects. One Trooper stood guard just in case the resident alligators decided to pay a visit. It was known that one had been released into the lake in September of 2012 and was evident one was abound with the tracks coming out of the lake.
Knowing what other departments have available makes it easier in a time of need to know exactly who to call on.
JANUARY 13, 2015
SEALY CHURCH WORKER SEXUAL ASSAULT
Detectives say a 39-year-old church volunteer is at the center of a child sex assault investigation, and additional charges could be brought against him.
The Waller County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday issued a felony arrest warrant for Nilsson Daniel Vargas on a charge of sexual assault of a child. The incident occurred in Waller County, but there may have been more in Austin, as well as in Fort Bend and Harris counties.
According to the sheriff’s office, Vargas met his victim, who was 16 at the time, in 2008 at the Christian City Fellowship in Sealy.
An arrest warrant describes Vargas as a church volunteer but Pastor Rusty Griffin tells Eyewitness News Vargas was not a part of the leadership or staff and was not a youth counselor volunteer at his church. Griffin said the alleged victim recently came forward to him about the alleged sexual assault, and that’s when he called police.
Authorities say Vargas first gained his victim’s trust, then began to inappropriately touch the child; they say the alleged assault lasted for years, and the victim felt pressured and too ashamed to ask for help. That victim is now cooperating with investigators.
When questioned about the sex acts, court papers state Vargas responded by telling police, “If they say it happened then it happened.”
Detectives say Vargas may have more victims, so they’re encouraging parents of children who attended the church to speak with their kids about Vargas. Griffin says he also sent out a letter to his congregation, informing them about the sex assault allegation.
Meanwhile, we’ve learned Vargas has four children of his own and is going through a divorce. Griffin says the whole family is getting counseling at the church.
Vargas is said to be turning himself in to authorities on Wednesday. A judge has set Vargas’ bond at $500,000.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and would be required to pay a fine as large as $10,000. He would also be required to register as a sex offender.
Anyone with information about this case or any new allegations is asked to call the Waller County District Attorney’s Office at 979-826-7718.
JANUARY 13, 2016
Just before 7pm Wednesday Humble Police were dispatched to two shooting calls. One at 400 South Bender, the other in the 1000 of First Street.
The first call brought them to the Bender location with the report of multiple shots fired. While en route they were advised of a shooting victim in the street in the 1100 block of First, in front of the post office. At the Bender location, they found a man shot once in the neck and once in the groin. He was taken to the hospital by ground ambulance. When officers arrived on First Street they found a female in the backseat of a car with a gunshot to the neck. They also located three males suspects. The female was flown by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition. The suspects were taken in for questioning.
No other details are available at this time.