JANAURY 25, 2014
MURDER BY MOTOR VEHICLE
SPRING, TX Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies say a driver intentionally ran over a group of people after a fight outside a popular north Harris County dance hall Saturday morning, killing one woman and injuring three other people.
It happened around 2:30am at Big Texas Dance Hall & Saloon on the North Freeway near Holzwarth in Spring.
Deputies said a confrontation erupted, and then someone jumped into a black pickup truck and drove into four people. The driver then fled the scene.
One woman died at the scene, we’re told. Paramedics loaded up three other victims — a man and two women — and took them to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police still trying to figure out why it happened, and who might have done it.
“It was reported that somebody had been run over; several people run over. At this point, we have one deceased; three injured,” HCSO Sgt. Felipe Rivera said.
Detectives aren’t sure what started the whole thing. According to posters hung at the dance hall, Texas country musician Stoney LaRue performed Friday night.
“From what we understand, nothing happened inside the dance hall. It happened outside, the confrontation between two parties,” Rivera said.
According to HCSO, all four victims appear to be in their 20s.
The young lady that died was a Allie Rodriguez, 20, a Caney Creek High graduate from Grangerland. She also worked at Papas on the Lake.
He boyfriend suffered a broken hand. Still no word on the others. Late Saturday evening Harris County Detectives have arrested Tito Estrada Juarez and charged him with the murder.
JANUARY 25, 2015
FIRE CHIEF REMEMBERS LOST FIREFIGHTER AS A DAUGHTER
Plantersville Stoneham Volunteer Fire Chief Michael Briggs recounted the scene the prior day when his department lost one of their own.
“Upon arrival, during assessment, we realized two of the occupants were our firefighters,” Briggs said. “The driver, Heather Wenzel, and the rear passenger Harley Mullenix, didn’t make it through the accident and we’re remembering her – Firefighter 820.”
“She was pretty much ad daughter to everybody in here,” he said. “She was the life of us. Everywhere she went, she made everybody smile.”
Briggs said Mullenix asked to join the department in November 2010 and was accepted into the junior firefighter program. At the end of May 2014, Mullenix graduated from high school and was over 18, so she went to the next level and became a firefighter. She was very active, Briggs said, and always wanted to learn. She also loved fighting wild land fires, which are fires outside a structure, he said.
“Once she got into it, she was hooked,” he said. “She loved the brotherhood, the sisterhood, the comradery. Everybody in the department was a mentor to her and pretty much made her what she was.”
Mullenix was with Briggs when he responded to the massive Dyer Mill on Father’s Day, 2011. The fire was too big and growing too fast, and they had to evacuate their firefighters from subdivision where they were fighting it.
“She got in the truck with me and the fire actually surpassed myself and other fire trucks,” he said. “We drove by her house as it went up in flames, but it didn’t stop her. I actually had to physically tell her to leave because that fire was too personal for her at her age.”
Briggs said Mullenix was not happy about it and wanted to get back with fellow firefighters and continue the battle. She kept calling to check on everyone, he said, even though her home was destroyed.
“She was more worried about us than her personal things,” Briggs said.
The chief said the young firefighter, who was barely 5-feet tall, was “all about training” and wanted to know how to do everything anyone else did. She would find a way, he said, very rarely asking for help.
Briggs said responding to the scene and finding Mullenix was very hard. Fortunately, Grimes County medics were on another call and requested mutual aid from Montgomery County, who sent ambulances and rescue trucks from Montgomery and Magnolia. He let them take over the extrication because he felt it was best for the firefighters who were so close to her.
“Going back today was horrific,” Briggs said. “We do the training- we try to block things from us- but once we go to a scene like last night, it kind of flashes back.”
They managed to get the job done Sunday, again assisted by Montgomery and Magnolia, who he said took most of the load off of PSVFD, knowing about their tremendous loss less than 24 hours earlier.
“It’s the brotherhood. You’re there for one another no matter what,” he said. “State boundaries, county boundaries, don’t exist with the firefighter brotherhood.”
Briggs said Mullenix had become friends with firefighters from many other agencies who wanted to attend her funeral, but arrangements were not finalized as of Sunday afternoon. He said they would be announced later and Mullenix will have the full traditional firefighter funeral.
ORIGINAL STORY WITH PHOTOS
JANUARY 25, 2015
CYFAIR 2 ALARM APARTMENT FIRE
About 10:45 Sunday night residents of the Andover Apartments on Cypress North Houston began to smell smoke. That was followed by alarms going off. As many evacuated their apartments the flames were already through the roof being blown by high winds from the north. The first Cy-Fair Chief on the scene immediately called for a second alarm which also brought in Klein, Rosehill, and Cypress Creek Fire Departments. Two people were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The fire destroyed ten units. Harris County Arson Investigators are digging and looking for the cause.
ORIGINAL STORY WITH PHOTOS
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JANUARY 25, 2015
HEAD-ON CRASH CLOSES FM 1774
Just after 4 p.m. Sunday, the Plantersville Fire Department responded to a major accident on FM 1774 at County Road 302. The location is in front of Dave’s Corner Store, and 300 feet from the location of the two-car crash that killed a Plantersville firefighter almost exactly 24 hours earlier.
They arrived to find a Toyota RAV 4 upside down, with three occupants trapped and in critical condition. Montgomery and Magnolia Fire Departments also responded and assisted in extricating the victims from the vehicle. The male driver was transported by St Joseph’s ambulance to Conroe Regional Hospital in critical condition. One of the passengers was flown to Memorial Hermann in Houston in critical condition. Another female passenger was flown by PHI Air Medical from Bryan to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan.
According to DPS Trooper Reaves the RAV 4 was northbound on FM 1774 and failed to yield right of way to a GMC Yukon which was southbound. They hit head-on taking both vehicles to the ditch and flipped the RAV 4. The female driver suffered a minor leg injury but did not require medical attention.
FM 1774 was closed for over an hour. Officials were able to flow some traffic along a power line right of way that until a Mercedes Benz became stuck in the mud requiring several firefighter to push the vehicle out.
ORIGINAL STORY AND PHOTOS
JANUARY 25, 2016
ROMAN FOREST POLICE AWARDS BANQUET
JANUARY 25, 2017
BAILEY GROVE ENVIRONMENTAL RAID
Early Wednesday morning members of the Montgomery County Health Department Environmental Division, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Precinct 1 and Precinct 5 Constables served a warrant on the Bailey Brothers Trash Service on Bailey Grove Road in Montgomery. They arrived after several complaints since last October of trash being dumped on the property. The scene consisted of 13 acres of garbage trucks, many in non-running condition, trailers and the home of the owner. In addition, was mountains of trash.
JANUARY 25, 2017
WESTWOOD SQUARE SWAT
On January 25 2017, at approximately 1130 members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team attempted to make a traffic stop on who they believed to be a wanted felon. When the deputies activated their emergency vehicle, a silver jeep liberty fled. Deputies gave chase as the vehicle pulled behind a shopping center. The male and vehicle occupants fled to a residence located at 39222 Westwood Square East. Acting Quickly SWAT in conjunction with K-9 was able to confirm the male subject was inside the residence. Meanwhile, the female was taken into custody in the driveway.
Due to the suspect unknown relationship to any of the potential occupants of the residence and fear that innocent people could be harmed. SWAT made forced entry taken the suspect safely into custody without further incident.
Investigation continues and several charges may develop as a result. The two persons detained are.
JANUARY 25, 2018
CONROE KIDNAP PRESS CONFERENCE
Wednesday morning just after 9 am, Conroe Police responded to a reported disturbance at 1716 Tyler Lane. The call came from a neighbor’s home. When the unit arrived the officer learned a 12-year-old child was getting ready for a school close to 8 am with his father, Ulises Villadares at their home when there was a knock at the door. His father answered the door. That is when two Hispanic males rushed in and tackled the father to the ground. They then pinned him to the living room floor where they bound the child’s and father’s hands with duct tape. They then kicked open the bedroom door which was owned by the child’s uncle, Ernesto. The suspects continued searching drawers and cabinets in the home. They also went through the mail that was found in the home. They took some speakers, and X-box, a PlayStation, a sword and a hat. The suspects then tried to wipe away any signs of fingerprints. The child did hear one man tell his father that the boy’s uncle Ernesto owed them $8,000. Ernesto told officers he recently lent his cousin some money for house repairs. His cousin then gave him a car for the debt. The child said the father knew one of the suspects parents. After about 20 minutes the group escorted the father out the front door with his head covered with a sweater. After ransacking the home, the two males took his father with them and told the 12-year-old boy he better not calls police or his father would be killed. The child was able to free himself and go to neighbors who called police. While Conroe Police were on the scene the uncle drove up. Later that day just after noon an unknown male called the uncle and stated he was with the Cartel and wanted $20,000 and if he did not comply he would kill his brother and several other family members they named. Conroe Police Detectives immediately went to work on the case once they learned it was, in fact, a real kidnapping. Detectives worked on the case all day and into the night. They notified the FBI who assisted on the case. Wednesday night two suspects were taken into custody at a Best Western on West Bay Area Blvd. It was also discovered by the child’s description that one of the males identified as Nicholas Chase Cunningham was actually married to Ernesto’s cousin. During that arrest the FBI learned that Cunningham had a girlfriend on Elbert Street and that is where the victim was being held. They along with Conroe Police Detectives and Houston Police made a run on the home. Just before 4 am the FBI Tactical Response Unit made entry into the home on Elbert. Houston Fire Department got the call for a shooting on Darian Street in northeast Houston near Ley Road and Homestead. Before they arrived they leaned the location was actually one block over on Elbert. The victim who was shot was taken the short distance to LBJ Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The FBI SWAT Team was responsible for making entry and taking the suspect down as Conroe and Houston looked on. The FBI still hasn’t said how it happened. However, the Agent involved in the shooting has been placed on mandatory leave as the case is investigated. Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon and Conroe Police Chief Dupree spoke with FBI Director Wray today who said the case is under investigation by the FBI Shoot Team. They also spoke with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg and Houston Police Chief Acevedo who will also be investigating. It was decided the case would be prosecuted in Montgomery County. The child was put in CPS custody on Wednesday as no other relatives could be located. The victims brother was notified however, the child told until late Thursday. According to District Attorney Brett Ligon, the charges will be aggravated kidnaping and could go to capital murder. Even they did not do the shooting, they were directly involved in the victim’s death.
ORIGINAL STORY WITH PHOTOS
JANUARY 25, 2019
OLD 105 HOUSE FIRE RECOVERY EFFORTS
Sam Campbell and his family enjoyed the Christmas holidays, but before the kids could return to school, a house fire took everything they had, including their four beloved dogs. The Campbell family lived in an older wood-frame house off of Old Hwy 105 near Cut and Shoot. They had no fire insurance and escaped the blaze with only what they wore to bed that night.
When members of the community heard of their plight, they began to connect and set plans in motion to help the Campbell family. The burned home was leveled and debris removed by volunteers.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help and a benefit is scheduled for February 23, at Bull Sallas Park in New Caney, with a silent auction, a car show, and more.
JANUARY 25, 2020
US 59 WRONG WAY DRIVER CRASH
Just before 2am Saturday a Cleveland Officer spotted a green Dodge pickup going southbound in the northbound lanes of US 59 in Cleveland. As it was broadcast multiple units converged on the freeway searching for it. Within minutes it was located, however, it had crashed. An 18-wheeler driver going from Houston to Memphis was northbound and about to pass another truck on the freeway. As they topped the overpass at Washington Ave the pickup was coming directly at him. He attempted evasive action but the pickup struck the side of his truck. The pickup ripped three tires and rims of the 18-wheeler and just missed the 200-gallon fuel tank. Her truck then lost the right front wheel as it continued over 100 yards still southbound in the northbound lanes going head-on at traffic. The female driver was transported with minor injuries. The truck driver was not injured. The pickup displayed Tennessee license plates but the female told officers she was heading home and the 18-wheelers were on the wrong side of the road and hit her. Officers confiscated several bottles of pills from her truck. US 59 was closed for about an hour to clean up.