JULY 26, 2007
CONROE SWAT AT MOTEL 6
JULY 26, 2010
POLICE BUST GUY ROBBING GRAVESITES
Monday afternoon at about 4 pm Montgomery County Auto Theft, Montgomery County District 3 Detectives, United States Marshals and Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Office attempted to serve Paul David McKinnon, age 52 of Porter a Blue Warrant issued by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. As they pulled up he was observed leaving in a red pickup down East Martin of Loop 494.
Lt. Mark Seals with Precinct 4 Constables Office stopped the vehicle. After arresting the suspect the vehicle was searched. Inside they found packages of syringes.
When they opened up the bed of the truck they found twenty bronze vases from gravesites.
After McKinnon was booked into the East Montgomery County Jail the work began searching for the source of these vases. Lt. Seals contacted the Conroe Police Department who had taken a report earlier in the day of thirteen vases missing from Conroe Memorial Park on FM 1314.
Mr. McNutt, the manager of Conroe Memorial Park was contacted and it was determined in fact at least thirteen of the vases were from just one section of their facility and had been taken Sunday they believed. One of the graves these were stolen from was Sgt. Nichols, a twenty-two-year Detective Sgt. from the Humble Police Department who died in 1985. Another was from the grave of a World War Two Veteran.
In an interview with Mr. McNutt, he stated the total value of the vases was close to $8000 but in scrap worth about $100. “It’s the families, the people that get hurt here by something like this”, said McNutt. He also was very happy to get these back and praised law enforcement for the fine job of recovering them. “This is the first time this has happened here, It’s happened in Houston but not here”, McNutt said.
Along with the Blue Warrant for Parole McKinnon will be charged with a felony on theft f precious metal for each one of the vases.
JULY 26, 2012
SPINDLETOP DOGS REUNITED WITH FAMILIES
Dog owners had mixed emotions as they were reunited with the animals rescued from the Spindletop facility last week. All were thrilled to get their dogs, but still trying to process how a facility that was so highly recommended turned out to be such a disappointment.
Gabriella Kerisi from San Antonio called the whole ordeal “awful,” as she reclaimed Tank, one of seven dogs she entrusted to Spindletop.
“They were supposed to do a behavioral evaluation and have documents signed by (Leah Purcell’s) attorney,” Kerisi said.
Tank had hurt another animal and they needed documentation in case they had to go to court, she said. Kerisi placed Tank at Spindletop in May and had not heard from Purcell since, she said. Kerisi paid $475 for the evaluation and $750 for boarding fees.
“He looks really happy right now,” she said. “He’s a little bit thin and obviously has medical issues but I think he’s happy and ready to go home.”
Dog owner Marie Garza said she was “overwhelmed.”
“We’re so happy,” she said. “We got the three dogs sent into boarding just over a month ago, but now they’re saving and we have the back with plans for all three- everyone has a place to go.”
Garza said the three dogs would be sleeping “inside on the couch” Thursday night.
A third party who was fostering the dogs took them to Spindletop for Garza and others who raised money for boarding the dogs while their foster caretaker underwent knee surgery. They hoped when the dogs left Spindletop they would have been trained and helped enough to find permanent homes.
The foster thought the facility was clean, and said Leah Purcell was very professional about everything. Garza said she and the others in her group had only the best intentions for the dogs and thought Spindletop was the right place for them. That is, until they heard the newscasts.
They immediately sent emails to begin the process of reclaiming the dogs and now they have.
“We’re elated we were called this soon to get our dogs,” Garza said. “It’s a valuable lesson learned and all we can do is weather the storm. “
Ann Baumgartner left “Candy” at Spindletop a year ago this month. Baumgartner began hearing rumors a little before she saw media confirmation that the dogs were removed from Spindletop.
Candy is “female dog aggressive,” which made her difficult to place. Trainers told Baumgartner Candy needed specialized training and Leah Purcell came highly recommended.
“We thought she’d be trained and Leah would find an appropriate adopter for this kind of dog,” Garza said. “So, obviously, that failed.”
Garza said she contacted Purcell more than a couple of times to ask about Candy, and got good reports at first. Then she says Purcell stopped returning calls and emails from her and others.
Now Garza is back to square one with Candy, but with a hard lesson learned.
Shamim Huq was picking up a stray named Jean he left at Spindletop because he was required to go through a rescue to get her after Harris County Animal Control picked her up from his neighborhood where he and his wife had been feeding her nightly. Huq had been moved by the “sad look on her face” and was determined to save her. He was very disappointed to learn what happened at Spindletop.
“We’re glad for the work these folks over here have done – Animal Farm, Houston Humane Society and a few others,” Huq said. “I’ve got the names and they’re going to be on my donation list and should be on yours too.”
Huq and his wife paid $900 to leave Jean at Spindletop for three months and were counting the days until they could pick her up. They had visited her at the facility and said she was very timid and still looked very sad.
“I said whatever I do in my whole life, if I can save this dog, I think that would be the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many times we go and pray – it’s what you do – that’s what God wants.”
Kim Cole was also happily reunited with her dog, who had been at Spindletop for a year.
“We think about her all the time and we’re just very happy to have her back,” Cole said.
When she dropped off her dog at Spindletop, it was because the facility and Purcell were highly recommended and the part of the place they saw looked very nice.
“We did research and everybody said (Purcell) was the best,” Cole said. “She was an expert witness in the Michael Vick case and she had gone to Katrina to save dogs there, but she turned out to be not so good.”
Cole said she emailed Purcell frequently and rarely received a reply, despite making two $500 donations above the $750 boarding fee she paid.
Precinct 3 Constable Tim Holifield has had little sleep or peace since the process began of removing the dogs from Spindletop and reuniting them with their owners, but he remains positive and committed to seeing all of the animals with their owners or with someone who will find them a good home.
Holifield said Thursday marked a week into the seizure and a lot of progress had been made. The first phase was evaluation and veterinary care, he said. The second phase was immediately identifying animals through microchips and trying to reunite them with their owners. Next, Holifield said, the process will move to identify animals through photos. While photographs are very useful in the process, Holifield said a microchip was much better.
“We want people to have closure,” Holifield said. “They can go through the pictures and if they see one that looks like theirs, they’ll be able to get reunited and make a positive ID.”
The constable also said people should be reminded about the hundreds of animals taken to shelters throughout the county and the region every day that never make the news but depend on the caring and generosity of others. He asks that people help control the pet population by having their animals spayed or neutered and highly recommends having a microchip placed in them so they can be returned if there is a situation like the one at Spindletop.
Holifield said a message was posted on Facebook asking former owners or caretakers to set up a time on Thursday or Friday to try and reclaim their dogs, but there was some misunderstanding. The message was aimed mostly at people nearby and in no way meant Friday was the deadline. Holifield said some of the dogs were from as far away as New Jersey and California and he knew those reunions would take an extended period of time and might require some assistance from airlines in transporting those dogs.
By Monday, Holifield said the process of looking for placement partners would begin in order to “rehome” the dogs through rescue groups.
“We will only work with recognized rescue operations who have established a 501C3 nonprofit status in good standing,” Holifield said.
“We could not do this without the tremendous support of the Humane Society of the United States, the Red Rover Organization, Montgomery County Animal Shelter, the volunteers who have come out, the county has been supportive,” he said. “Sheriff Gage provided resources with trustees, and various charities have provided food and supplied other needs.”
“Without these, we would not have this success,” Holifield said.
Everyone who worked with the major undertaking would leave with many memories and one he would never forget was a veterinarian who found a dog with such a large tumor that the vet’s wife asked if no one claimed the dog that they be able to take it home and try to save it. They did exactly that.
“There’ll be a lot of tears shed as animals go home but a lot of happiness knowing that we’ve made some dreams come true and helped people find their animals,” Holifield said.
They are scheduling people to come and identify dogs through Sunday and asking those who cannot care for an animal to refrain from coming simply to see if the animal is there. Holifield said reasonable proof of ownership is required and photographs “go a long way.”
JULY 26, 2014
CONROE IMMIGRATION FORUM
CONROE — Around 300 people attended an immigration and naturalization forum Saturday, hosted by the Conroe Hispanic Task Force and Sacred Heart Church held to assist Hispanics in obtaining the resources to become US citizens.
Marlen Tejeda, longtime Latin American liaison for Conroe, said the event was at no charge to attendees and provided them with information regarding immigration and naturalization with the assistance of seven board-certified immigration attorneys.
“This is a very important program for people that are US legal residents,” Tejeda said. “Some of them have been here for 20 or 30 years, and they are finally getting ready to get the process to become US citizens.”
JULY 26, 2014
Just over 100 people participated in a Texas Open Carry March in Liberty, Texas.
Open Carry Texas held its first march in Liberty County Saturday, with a large group of men and women, some with their children in tow, walking down the side of Main Street in the City of Liberty with a variety of visible firearms. They also waved American flags, “Come and Take It” flags, and signs proclaiming their right to bear arms.
Before the march, the group met in a parking lot where they said the Pledge of Allegiance and prayed. Open Carry Texas founder and president C.J. Grisham addressed the crowd, predicting Texas would become an open carry state in 2015.
Grisham, a decorated war veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, gained national attention after he was arrested in March 2013 as he walked down the side of a remote country highway. He was in the fifth mile of a hike with his son, as part of his son’s Eagle Scout project. Grisham was carrying an AR 15. Someone driving past called the police. When officers arrived, they disarmed and arrested Grisham. He had recently returned from Afghanistan and said his initial reaction to having his rifle grabbed without warning was that of a soldier. Grisham then found a gun pointed at his head. He quickly got control of himself and attempted to verbally dispute his arrest, but it was to no avail. Grisham was taken into custody, as his son shot video of most of the incident. (Watch that video at the bottom of this post).
Grisham’s original charge was Resisting Arrest. The charge was later reduced to the misdemeanor charge of Interfering with Duties of a Public Servant. He was convicted of that charge December 19, and has since filed an appeal.
As a result of his arrest, Grisham founded “Open Carry Texas,” which he said was created to educate the public and law enforcement so no one else has to go through the same ordeal.
Saturday’s march was the first in Liberty County, but had already occurred in 111 other counties.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness for our right to keep and bear arms, to show people the rifles you see out there, so castigated and stigmatized in the media aren’t here to hurt anybody,” Grisham said.
The group is attempting to accomplish their goal “lawfully and respectfully,” he said.
“We walk down the road, we wave, smile, raise awareness, and let them know we’re trying to get open carry in Texas,” Grisham said.
He told the crowd it was a travesty not to have open carry in the state that was home to the Alamo and Gonzales.
“Every state, once I leave the border of the greatest state in the country, if I accidentally show my gun, it’s not a big deal; If I want to purposely show my gun, it’s not a big deal,” Grisham said. “The fact of the matter is that the open carry of a firearm is a deterrent to crime.”
He encouraged everyone to continue educating people about their rights and to contact their legislators.
“What we are all doing here today is exactly what I was doing a year ago, only it was out in the country and that is because of everyone here, everyone across state, that has stood up, put their arms on and shown that an armed society is a polite society,” Grisham said.
Valente Gonzales, an administrator for Houston Open Carry, was among those present.
“We’d like to comment to the public that they have a constitutional right to carry their firearms in public,” Gonzales said. “It’s guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States.”
“We feel that it’s something that needs to be educated to the public so that they are aware of their rights, so that’s what we’re here to do,” he said.
Tory Pettigrew, from Alvin, said he was there to exercise his First and Second Amendment rights, and he was encouraged by the turnout.
“We need to have more people that are willing to protect themselves and protect the community at large,” Pettigrew said.
He said groups advocating gun control, such as Mothers Demand Action, “are not realistic about the world around them.”
“To disarm the public at large – it’s not good for anybody,” Pettigrew said.
The statewide organization has two major events planned. The first is a post-election rally in November. The second event will be a gathering at the Texas capital. For that event only, attendees are asked to wear empty holsters, so they can enter the capital building.
The Liberty event was peaceful with no issues involving police or other citizens.
Open Carry Texas has a website at www.opencarrytexas.org and a Facebook group page with over 18,000 members. More information is available from both.
Below is the video from the Liberty march, the video of Grisham’s arrest, and a link to the in-depth Fox News report on Grisham.
Photos from the Liberty event are below the videos and link.
JULY 26, 2014
FATAL HUFFMAN HOUSE FIRE
A neighbor walked by the home of Joy Oliver, 85 who lives in the 900 block of Little Doe in Crosby. That was at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and everything seemed fine. About an hour later Huffman Fire Department was arriving on the scene of the single-story wooden frame home fully involved. By the time it was out the home was leveled. Firefighters found the body of Oliver in her bed.
The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene and after spending most of the day left with the investigation into the cause still under investigation.
Oliver was transported to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Center where an autopsy will be done to learn the cause of her death.
This evening Oliver’s son combed through the debris. He said everyone knew his mother as Joy as she brought Joy to everyone. He said there was no gas in the home and he didn’t believe his mother had even started her daily routine yet.
JULY 26, 2015
CAR GOES OVER FREEWAY OVERPASS AND DROPS BELOW
About 230am a pickup truck was going south on Hamilton near downtown Houston. The driver ran the red light at Pierce broadsiding a vehicle as it passed through the intersection. That vehicle crashed into the retaining wall above the Southwest Freeway. The pickup with five occupants struck the guardrail on the Pearce overpass. He hit it with such force that the truck went right through it and the fence and fell upside down to the freeway below. Several motorists on the freeway below stopped and assisted the passengers in their escape from the pickup. Houston Fire Department responded with their Heavy Technical Rescue truck to attempt to extricate one person still trapped in the vehicle. They attempted to gain access through a gate above the crash scene but it was jammed shut with a fallen pine tree. Firefighters then mastered the incline to get to the vehicle as other units responded to the freeway below. Crews tried an airbag however it burst, they then used a cable and attached it to Elite Wrecker. The wrecker driver, Nicolus Nelson who parked his wrecked just over the scene worked for hand in hand with firefighters as they stabilized the vehicle using the wrecker as an anchor point. . With the truck stabilized they were able to extricate the other patient. The injuries involved mostly cuts and bruises on the occupants of the truck. The driver of the car,Alana Perez jumped out of her car to assist with the occupants of the other vehicle but motorists already stopped below and were assisting.
US 59 southbound was closed for close to an hour.
JULY 26, 2019
STUEBNER AIRLINE MOTORCYCLE FATAL
About noon Friday a Pepsi truck and another vehicle were involved in a minor crash on Stuebner Airline at Oakwood Glen just north of Louetta. As Harris County Precinct 4 Constables worked that crash which was occupying the northbound left-turn lane and the left lane, a southbound vehicle attempted to make a left turn onto Oakwood Glen. Northbound traffic was still flowing in the right lane. Early investigation shows the southbound vehicle turning did not yield right of way to the northbound traffic. The motorcycle struck the left front of the vehicle then continued north striking the curb and being ejected. He was pronounced deceased on the scene. Harris County Precinct 4 Constables continue the investigation along with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office
JULY 26, 2020
About 6 pm Sunday Harris County Precinct 4 Constables responded to a reported shooting on County Pines Drive at the tennis courts of Country Lake Estates in Spring. A young male was shot at least 4-times is what officials think is a drug deal gone bad. He was Lifeflighted in critical condition to Memorial Hermann in Houston. Deputies are asking for the publics’ help in locating the shooters in this case. Anyone with any information is asked to call Harris County Precinct 4 at 281-376-3472.
JULY 26, 2021
BODY FOUND ON SIDE OF CONROE STREET
On 07-26-21 at approx.. 9:42 A.M. officers were dispatched to a welfare check in the 600 block of South 10th Street. A passerby reported finding a lifeless male in the ditch just off of the roadway. Upon the officer’s arrival, the deceased was found to be a black male in his late 50’s. Based on a preliminary investigation, foul play is suspected in the death.
The deceased has been identified as Diedrik Ivan Cavil 05-31-62 of Conroe, Texas. Next of Kin has been notified. The Conroe Police Department is asking the public for assistance with this case. If you have any information in regards to this investigation, contact Detective Bret Irvine at 936-522-3257 or by email at [email protected] We do not have any further information to release at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased at this most difficult time.