FEBRUARY 9, 2007
HEMPSTEAD POLICE CHIEF SUSPENDED
A Waller County civil rights group leader calls the punishment given to Hempstead Police Chief Glenn Smith “a slap on the hands” following complaints of racism and police brutality against him and four other white officers.
The Hempstead City Council voted to suspend Smith for two weeks without pay after viewing videotapes and hearing the allegations against him from local black residents stemming from the arrest of 35-year-old Cory Labba on Jan. 8.
Smith, who acknowledged he used profanity and was unprofessional in
“It wasn’t even remotely racist,” said Smith, who has been with the department since 2002.
Labba declined to comment.
Hempstead Mayor Michael Wolfe Sr. said Labba, who is black, claimed Smith hit him in the chest during his arrest.
“He (Smith) took responsibility for being unrestrained, and based on his own admission, he pushed the suspect out of his face and used profanity,” Wolfe said.
“In this case, the young man has no bruises and he was not physically abused in any way whatsoever,” the mayor said.
But Herschel Smith, president of the Waller County Leadership Council, criticized the disciplinary action taken against Smith.
After a lengthy closed-door council meeting that lasted until 2 a.m. Tuesday, the six-member council also placed the police chief on probation for six months and ordered him to take anger management classes, but declined to take action on the other four police officers.
The council had been deliberating the case since last week.
FEBRUARY 19, 2007
FOUR WHEELERS DESTROY NEW CONCRETE ROAD IN CUMBERLAND
Kingsley Construction poured over 575 yards of concrete. Then Saturday night four-wheelers drove through the concrete. Painted Blvd and Horseshoe Drive in Cumberland.
FEBRUARY 19, 2013
CRIMESTOPPERS OFFERS $10,000 REWARD FOR PERSON WHO SHOT BUCK
Last month Tami Augustyn was notified by a neighbor of a dog along her property line that was in a trash bag and bleeding bad. Tami, an animal lover immediately went to see what could be done. On the ground was the dog that has since occupied almost every moment of her life. “Buck” as she named him was shot in the face with birdshot, he was bleeding and due to the extreme cold that weekend was severely hypothermic.
Tami took “Buck” to the Conroe Emergency Animal Clinic, his chances were unknown. He was covered in birdshot, his eyes were damaged and he had lost a large amount of blood. The veterinarians worked hard to save him and were successful.
She adopted “Buck” and started his care. The next evening “Buck” was on just about every Houston television station. Newspapers picked up the story as did CNN and television stations in Europe.
A Facebook page was started, “Buck Needs Bucks for his Buckshot Injuries”. Thousands of dollars started to pour in to help with medical bills which has passed the $7,000 mark. Tami put messages out that she felt enough had been collected but that didn’t matter, people love animals and the money kept coming.
Then the idea hit to start a foundation, take “Buck” to schools and get the message to the young ones on animal abuse. The foundation also assisted several weeks ago when “Penney”, another dog was found shot and left for dead in a trash bag on FM 3083 near Jefferson Chemical. That dog, unlike “Buck” did not make it and died at the veterinarians office the next day.
The Buck Foundation has since been set up with the State of Texas, a board of directors was put in place including an attorney.
Tim Hollifield, the Montgomery County Animal Cruelty Officer began investigating and followed up on several leads which all ran into dead ends. He too has spent hours on these two dogs and one other that had been shot in west Montgomery County but with different circumstances than “Buck” or “Penney”.
Seeing tips were far and few between, Tami again reached out to what are now called “Bucks” fans. The outreach was for funds for a reward, once again money came in. Tami cut it off at $10,000.
Tuesday at noon the board of the Montgomery County Crime Stoppers met. They accepted a check from the Buck Foundation for $10,000 to be put in a separate fund. This reward will go to the person who is able to provide an anonymous tip to the Montgomery County Crime Stoppers leading to the arrest of the person responsible.
In addition Crime Stoppers started a separate unit to deal with tips for animal cruelty. People will be able to donate to Crime Stoppers for that specific reason.
Tami has also started placing signs and banners around the area hoping someone will come forward.
One of the signs stands in front of Caney Creek High School at FM 1485 and FM 2090 not far from where “Buck” was found. Tuesday afternoon Deborah Roth stopped to read the sign. When asked if she thought the reward would help find the person responsible, she said,” I don’t know but for $10,000 I would turn my own mother in.”
According to Texas Law, a person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly tortures an animal or in a cruel manner kills or causes serious bodily injury to animal. That is considered a felony.
There are several other parts of that law that make it a felony. Without the owners, effective consent, kills, administers poison to, or causes serious bodily injury. Causes on animal to fight with another animal, if either animal is not a dog. Uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack
To contact Montgomery County Crime Stoppers you can call :
1-800-392-STOP or on the web at www.montgomerycounty crimestoppers.org
FEBRUARY 19, 2013
BABY FOUND IN WALMART BAG
A baby was found in a bag near a Cypress apartment complex Tuesday evening.
Officials say a woman was walking her dog near the Stonegate Villas Apartments, located in the 11000 block of Grant Road, around 7 p.m. when her dog picked up on a scent.
The dog led his owner to a plastic bag along the fence line of the apartments. The woman found the newborn baby girl wrapped in a plastic Wal-Mart bag.
Emergency crews responded to the scene. The umbilical cord was still attached and was clamped off by EMS, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials say the infant is in good condition and is breathing on her own.
She was transported by ambulance to Texas Children’s Hospital for observation.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Crimes Against Children Unit is now investigating. Officials say they do not believe the person who dropped off the newborn lives at the apartment complex.
Anyone with information is urged to call the HCSO Crimes against Children Unit at 713-830-3250 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
FEBRUARY 19, 2013
DAW COLLINS TRUCK FIRE
Just after 10:30 pm Tuesday a Cleveland resident heading home on Daw Collins Road noticed the odor of smoke. He pulled off the road just south of Morgan Cemetery and opened the hood. When he did he discovered the battery was on fire. He quickly closed the hood, called the fire department and then got some clothes and his computer out just as it burst into flames.
Splendora and Caney Creek Fire Department were dispatched to the scene and Splendora immediately started attacking the blaze. Multiple explosions could be heard along with truck lighting up a brilliant white when the fire and water came in contact with the magnesium components.
The truck was a total loss. Trooper Laird with DPS worked the report on the scene. DPS was assisted by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
The worst part was the owner had one payment to go before the vehicle was paid off.
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
I-45 18 WHEELER FIRE
Just after midnight, Wednesday Spring Fire Department was dispatched to a truck on fire on Interstate 45 northbound between the Hardy Toll Road and the Grand Parkway. They arrived to find a trailer fully involved. The driver who was pulling a double trailer separated the two and pulled forward to protect the second trailer and truck. The trailer was marked with a hazardous material placard labeled as corrosive. Firefighters contained the blaze and contacted Harris County Haz-Mat who responded to the scene. It took firefighters several hours to gain access to the trailer using saws. It was determined the drums of chemicals contained a neutral caustic acid. Firefighters were finally able to enter the trailer and extinguish the remainder of the load which contained boxes of clothing and other commodities.
The freeway was completely closed northbound and being in a construction area driver were forced to wait. One driver attempted to leave his vehicle in the main lane and walk home. A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy quickly stopped that. However, when one lane of the freeway opened that same deputy was forced to wake the driver up as he was blocking the entire lane.
As traffic started to flow drivers jockeyed for position. One driver cut in front of an 18 wheeler and was struck. As Harris County deputies got his information and released him that same driver drove into a second lane causing a red safety cone to be wedged under his vehicle.
The truck was finally unloaded and the trailer moved off the freeway close to dawn.
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
HOUSTON FIREFIGHTER DOWN
A press conference a short time ago at Hermann Hospital revealed that Captain Dwight Bazile, a 37-year veteran with the Houston Fire Department is in very critical condition at Hermann Hospital. Officials report they responded to a house fire at England and Cosby in south Houston with people trapped. When they emerged from the home after finding no victims Captain Bazile collapsed and was taken to Memorial Herman as medics fought to restart his heart,
At this time he is listed as very critical.
Today marks 10 years since Captain Grady Burke, also from Station 46 lost his life as he and his crew were advancing a hose line into a house fire and the structure collapsed.
Keep Captain Bazile in your prayers including his wife Pam and son Dwight.
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
CONGRESSMAN BRADY AT MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Congressman Brady meets with local law enforcement on next weeks Homeland Security funding.
FEBRUARY 19, 2016
SHOOTING ON WEST WARRINGTON
A man has been shot in northwest Harris County, but charges may not be filed against who killed him.
The shooting happened around 10 pm at a home on North Werrington Way near West Werrington Way. This is near FM 1960 and Treaschwig.
Deputies say a 33-year-old female shot and killed her boyfriend during an altercation.
Neighbors say that the home where this happened has seen its share of problems, with officers showing up twice within the last few weeks due to domestic disturbances.
The 29-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and his girlfriend is now in custody.
No charges have been filed yet. Officers are not sure if the case will be referred to a grand jury, or if it will be classified as a homicide.
FEBRUARY 19, 2016
MAN DIES AFTER MISSES CURVE WHILE TALKING ON CELL PHONE
At approximately 0013 hours a Hispanic male was driving a 1994 Honda Accord eastbound in the 16400 block of Bear Bayou Drive. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was talking on his cellular telephone at the time of this crash. The driver failed to drive in a single lane of travel as the road curved to the left and drove off the south side of the roadway. The vehicle traveled across the driveway for 16506 Bear Bayou Drive and struck a tree with its right side. This first contact was merely a sideswipe manner collision causing only minor damage to the vehicle and tree as the vehicle continued over the ditch and through the front lawn of the residence. The Accord’s front end struck a large tree near the center of the front lawn. The vehicle rotated counter-clockwise and continued in a southeastern direction. The left front quarter struck the side of the residence causing damage to an 8′ section the exterior bedroom wall. The vehicle traveled only a short distance away from the residence after colliding with the brick wall. The vehicle came to rest on top of a raised flower bed facing west. The driver of Unit 1 sustained fatal injuries during the collision sequence. The identity of the driver is pending confirmation using fingerprints. The homeowners were sleeping inside the bedroom at the time of this collision. The homeowners were only a few feet from where the vehicle struck the residence and was not injured during the crash. The homeowner said this was not a first. He has lived in the home 50-years and this is the third fatal crash in his yard. In addition multiple other crashes including one last week which took out his mailbox.
FEBRUARY 19, 2017
HOMICIDE TIDWELL AT FRIENDLY
An altercation in a Citgo parking lot at Friendly and Tidwell became violent early Sunday morning. A male shot another Hispanic male in the head then fled the scene in a white 4-door sedan. The Harris County Medical Examiner will attempt to identify the man who was shot.
FEBRUARY 19, 2017
CAR HITS UTILITY POLE-JEFFERSON CHEMICAL RD
Just after 8 pm Sunday, a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed was southbound on Jefferson Chemical Road. When he approached the intersection of FM 1485 he ran the stop sign almost hitting John Boston and his wife who had just left Sonic and were heading home. A power line dropped on their vehicle as they passed under it. The vehicle went through the intersection and struck a utility pole. The impact was so great that it knocked the center section of the pole out, dropping wires and a transformer to the ground. The vehicle then continued up the utility pole where it came to rest tethering on the pole. Cut and Shoot Fire Department, Caney Creek Fire Department, and NMC Fire Department responded to the scene. When they arrived they determined the power was still on and were forced to wait for Entergy to respond to the scene to cut the power. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured and was communicating with the crews to remain still until the power was cut. His family who arrived on the scene along with bystanders watched as crews continued to wait for Entergy. Once Entergy arrived on the scene and was able to kill the power, crews went to work to stabilize the vehicle. Once that was done the driver was able to crawl out on his own. He was taken to the ambulance to be checked but refused service. DPS on the scene cited the driver but found no signs of intoxication. When the driver was confronted by the wife of Boston who was driving the vehicle which was almost struck, he began to laugh as he walked away with his family. As wreckers were about to load the vehicle it rolled off the pole.
FEBRUARY 19, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 2:32 PM, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Patrol District (2) Two responded to an “In Progress” Shooting Call in the parking lot of a strip center located at 5344 E.FM 1960. It was reported that several gunshots were heard in the parking lot and a White male wearing a trench coat and top hat was seen running from the scene. Patrol units arrived on the scene and discovered a Black male victim in the driver seat of a Silver Ford Taurus. The victim was unresponsive and medical personnel was summoned to the scene and pronounced the victim dead from several gunshot wounds.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide was summoned to the scene to conduct the investigation. Investigators interviewed several witnesses at the scene who described the suspect as a white male, wearing a trench coat and black top hat and was last seen driving from the scene a light-colored vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to call Houston Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS (8477) or the Homicide Division of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at (713) 274-9100.
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 2:38 PM, Tyler Christian Green W/M 24 years old was charged and arrested for the Sunday, February 19, 2017 Murder of Fabian Ramone Smith that occurred in the parking lot of a strip center located at 5344 E. FM 1960. Green was arrested at his place of employment in Nederland, Jefferson County, Texas. Green did not provide a statement to investigators and requested a lawyer.
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
HARRIS COUNTY PURSUIT TO CONROE
Just after midnight Harris County Precinct, 4 Deputies attempted to stop a silver Toyota 4-door on Kuykendahl for a traffic offense. The driver sped off leading them up Kuykendahl, along Gosling Road and toward Tomball then to Highway 99 and east to I-45. Several units were behind the suspect including a DPS helicopter overhead. The driver, running at times with no headlights turned north on I-45 into Montgomery County where Montgomery County units engaged the suspect also. The driver exited at Crighton Road, went through the intersection and continued north on the feeder. As the driver went through the intersection of Loop 336 South in Conroe his right front tire blew out and he stopped. He and his passenger were quickly taken into custody.
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
GRIMES COUNTY PUBLIC MEETING ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL
Over 500 people from counties as far south as Harris and as far north as Ellis County attended a meeting tonight with Congressman Kevin Brady and County Officials from several counties to better understand the fight against the Texas High-Speed rail which is to travel between Houston and Dallas at over 150 miles per hour. Since the fight was lost in Texas the Rail Officials have gone to Washington to try to push for an eminent domain which would take land from hundreds along the route.
Five Texas landowners have requested Texas House of Representatives Investigative Committee Chair Morgan Meyer to open an investigation related to possible perjury committed by Texas Central Railway Managing Director Holly Reed for testimony provided during the 86th Legislative Session earlier this year.
Texas Central representatives testified at all committee hearings for bills related to high-speed rail, but the landowners’ complaint is limited to two specific hearings on bills related to landowner protections against misuse of eminent domain authority by high-speed rail companies. Texas Central has long contended it is a railroad with the authority of an eminent domain and represented this to private property owners in option contract negotiations. Even after a court ruled the company is not a railroad and does not have eminent domain authority, company representatives continue to make this claim to the public.
HB 4219 would have allowed landowners to cancel option contracts with the company and get their property back if it was later determined in court that Texas Central did not have eminent domain authority (the court ruling above was issued during the course of the legislative session). HB 1367 would have given landowners who signed option contracts under the threat of eminent domain the right to get their property back from Texas Central if it was used for something other than the high-speed rail project or if the project was canceled.
According to the landowners, Reed’s testimony regarding the company’s “option purchase program” was material to resolving the concerns of legislators about the need for such protections. In the letter is was explained that Reed’s testimony made HB 4219 seem “unnecessary because Texas Central wasn’t going to exercise any options until it had raised $20 billion and received all permits…” Reed shared similar information about the option purchase program in the HB 1367 hearing, making it appear as if the company had built in the protection by not closing on options contracts until the project was at a point where it would be unlikely to be canceled.
Texas Central Railway has not received any permits to construct or operate a high-speed rail, nor have they raised the needed construction funds; yet, the company began closing on options contracts in December of 2019, which Ms. Reed expressly told legislators they would not do. The landowners’ letter with relevant testimony transcript and supporting documentation can be viewed here.
Kyle Workman, chairman and president of Texans Against High-Speed Rail, said of the request for investigation, “Landowners have been lied to, had their property trespassed on and been sued in the courts by Texas Central, so, while it isn’t surprising that they would misrepresent their project to our State Legislators, it is a serious affront to our State’s legislative process. Because they were misled by Ms. Reed’s testimony, legislators were not able to provide the landowner protections desperately needed to thwart this company’s tactics. Chair Meyer now has the opportunity to investigate these claims and ensure that Texans know the legislature will not tolerate such actions.”