Category Archives: Local

US imposes sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms over North Korea

The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 mainly Chinese and Russian companies and people for assisting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and helping the North make money to support those programs.

The penalties are intended to complement new U.N. Security Council sanctions and further isolate North Korea for its nuclear and missile tests amid heightened tensions that have led to threats from both sides, the Treasury Department said in a statement. The 16 affected entities either do business with previously sanctioned companies and people, work with the North Korean energy sector, help it place workers abroad or facilitate its evasion of international financial curbs.

The measures block any assets they may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from transactions with them.

“It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “We are taking actions consistent with U.N. sanctions to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to North Korea, and to deter this activity in the future.”

Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, including three coal companies; two Singapore-based companies that sell oil to North Korea and three Russians that work with them; a Russian company that deals in North Korean metals and its Russian director; a construction company based in Namibia; a second Namibia-based company, and its North Korean director, that supplies North Korean workers to build statues overseas to generate income for the North.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on US imposes sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms over North Korea

Parents’ plea for help in finding teenage couple missing for 48 hours

The last time anyone saw 13-year-old Jeremy Ogden, of Humble, was 3 a.m. on Sunday.

His family said he kept going into his older sister’s bedroom.

By Sunday morning, his sister’s keys and car were gone, and so was Jeremy.

His 13-year-old girlfriend, Halie Journet, is missing, too.

Their families are worried.

“They don’t have any money,” said Toni Ogden, Jeremy’s mother. “I don’t know how they’re eating.”

“When we went to her bedroom, her mother said she wasn’t there,” said Andre Journet, Halie’s father.

“You’re not in trouble,” said Mary Journet, Halie’s grandmother. “We just want you to come home.”

The two are believed to be in a gray Nissan Altima SL with paper tags and a cheetah print license plate cover.

The families are afraid that the 13-year-olds could be driving through the busy streets of the greater Houston area.

“We’ve been driving around, searching the streets, searching the neighborhoods, searching anywhere he might go,” said Toni Ogden.

Ogden said this out of character for her son, but wonders if he’s being driven by grief.

“His oldest brother was his best friend and his idol,” said Ogden. “He was active-service military. He passed away on July 11. That’s been really hard on him.”

Both mothers had messages for their children, who have been gone for nearly 48 hours.

“I’m just really scared and worried,” said Ogden. “I just want him to come back home.”

“I just want her to know that we love her,” said Journet. “There’s nothing you can do that would erase the love that we have. We want her to just come home. We can work anything out.”

Their parents are asking the public to be on the lookout for a gray 2015 Nissan Altima SL with paper tag number 47P5505.

Jeremy is believed to have a phone that only workes on Wi-Fi.

His parents have turned the service on, but they have not had any pings that would find the teens’ location. The phone seems to be out of power.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Harris County Precinct 4 at 281-376-3472.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you’re on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Parents’ plea for help in finding teenage couple missing for 48 hours

2 women claim they were groped by local massage therapist

Houston police are investigating after two women said they were inappropriately touched at a local massage parlor.

The women, who do not know each other, said the incidents took place during sessions with a male massage therapist at Lucky Feet on Bellaire Boulevard in June and early August.

Both asked that their identities be protected.

“Before you knew it, his hand slipped in between my underwear and he touched me. He did it again. I said, ‘Hey, you are touching my private part you’re not supposed to be touching my private part,’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, sorry sorry,'” one woman told KPRC.

She said she quickly got dressed and ran out of the room to tell someone what happened.

“They were all looking at me speaking their language, like they didn’t understand what I was saying,” she said.

A similar story of unwanted touching came from another woman during her visit two weeks ago.

“At one point he jiggled one of my breasts and went, ‘Wow.’ He dried me off with the towel and then he slid the towel between my butt crack,” the woman said.

Both women filed reports with the Houston Police Department in the days after their appointments.

“What he did was a criminal act,” one woman said.

We spoke to the manager of Lucky Feet, who denied the women’s allegations, calling them liars and saying they were only out for money.

The women have not filed a lawsuit and say they do not plan to.

“My intention is for the man who sexually assaulted me to be arrested; that’s my only intention. I’m not looking for money. We aren’t lying. Why would two different people make this up?” one of the women said.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services says Lucky Feet is fully licensed to operate and there are no records of complaints against the business.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you’re on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on 2 women claim they were groped by local massage therapist

League City Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Online Solicitation of a non-existent Minor

Niallson Dorsey Price, 31, has been sentenced in a Galveston County courtroom to serve 6 years in prison for Online Solicitation of a Minor who didn’t actually exist.
Witness testimony during the trial revealed that the Galveston Police Department was conducting an undercover sting operation focused on identifying and arresting individuals engaged in exploiting children. On April 23, 2016, Price replied to a posting on Craigslist and then began an illicit conversation over a messaging application, Kik, with a person he believed was 14 years old. The person was actually a police officer.
Price was arrested and charged after traveling to Galveston with the intent to commit sexual acts with what he thought was a minor. The State entered into evidence copies of the messages sent by Price, including a photo of himself sent to the officer. Law Enforcement were also able to tie the account the messages were sent from to Price.
After a day of testimony, the jury retired to deliberate on Tuesday afternoon. The jury returned with a guilty verdict on the Wednesday morning. The punishment phase immediately followed. During punishment, the State presented evidence of Price’s prior conviction for felony possession of cocaine from earlier this year. The State also told the jury to protect the children of this community with its sentence and ensure that, at least for a while, Price would not be able to prey upon children.
The jury took a few hours to deliberate and returned yesterday shortly before noon with its punishment verdict.
Price faced a sentence range of 2 years to 10 years in prison. The jury set Price’s punishment at 6 years. Price will have to serve at least one-fourth of his sentence before being eligible for parole. Price will also be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years, annually, once released from prison or parole.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on League City Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Online Solicitation of a non-existent Minor

Galveston County Deputies Prevent Jumper on Bridge at 646 & I-45

Loitering on an overpass is a felony offense in Texas...

On Thursday August 17, 2017 at approximately 2120 (that’s 9:20PM civilian time) deputies were flagged down by several frantic citizens. They reported seeing a woman on the Hwy 646 overpass, she appeared to be ready to jump from the overpass into the traffic below. The overpass goes across Highway 45 in the Dickinson – League City area.

Deputies responded with emergency equipment activated and arrived on location within a minute. When Deputies Fred Boas and Daniel Banda arrived they found a female dangling over the side of a over pass. She was holding on to the railing with both hands. While another officer already on scene drew her attention towards him, Deputy Boas was approaching from the opposite direction. As soon as Deputy Boas was within the reach of the female Deputy Banda ran to her aid as well. Deputy Boas was able to grab her torso just as she was letting go of the railing. Assisted by Deputy Banda, and other officers on scene, she was pulled back over the railing to safety. She was transported by E.M.S. to UTMB Victory Lakes for treatment. By their heroic efforts, deputies were able to save this young person’s life.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Galveston County Deputies Prevent Jumper on Bridge at 646 & I-45

Dickinson Cops use Facebook to Catch a Burglar Named Jesus

Dickinson Police have charged 20 year old, Jesus Ortega-Torres, with burglary of a building, in connection with several burglaries of local businesses in Dickinson.

Several businesses near the 4400 block of State Highway 3 were burglarized during the night time hours between August 12 and August 16.  Video surveillance of one of the burglaries showed a male with numerous tattoos inside the business.   The video was shared on social media by the business owner and detectives began receving information identifying a possible suspect by nickname.   Detectives developed a possible social media account for the suspect.  Information continued to be shared through social media and police received a call of a person matching the description of the suspect.   Patrol officers located Ortega-Torres in the 3400 block of IH-45 on August 16, and he was arrested for possession of marijuana.    Detectives continued to follow up with information and interviewing Ortega-Torres.

After reviewing the cases with the Galveston County District Attorney Office, detectives secured a warrant and charged Ortega-Torres with one count of burglary of a building.  Bond was set at $20,000.00.  The investigation will continue and additional charges are possible in the future.

Burglary of a building is a state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and a possible $10,000.00 fine.

Dickinson PD would like to thank the public for sharing information that contributed to the identification of the suspect and solving of several burglary investigations.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Dickinson Cops use Facebook to Catch a Burglar Named Jesus

Evading Theft Suspects Taken Into Custody After Causing Accident in League City

Suspects captured after fender-bender...

On Thursday, August 17, 2017 at approximately 5:25PM, a League City Police Officer was on routine patrol in the Home Depot parking lot located at 3200 Gulf Freeway S. As the officer neared a loading dock, he observed a male and female running to a car parked near the loading dock.
When the subjects saw the officer, they quickly entered the vehicle and traveled west through the parking lot at a high rate of speed. The officer activated his patrol unit’s emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop. The vehicle exited the parking lot, entered onto the northbound freeway access road and then entered onto the main, northbound lane of I-45 S. Traveling at a high rate of speed attempting to evade the officer, the suspect vehicle continued to travel northbound on the outside shoulder, passed over Highway 96 W., and hit a barrier when the shoulder ended. After hitting the barrier, the suspect vehicle hit an uninvolved vehicle that had stopped for traffic on the freeway. During the vehicle crash, the male suspect was ejected through the front windshield and then attempted to run from the scene before being taken into custody by the pursuing officer. The female suspect, who had been driving the suspect vehicle, was also taken into custody. Both suspects were transported to an area hospital for treatment. The male and female passenger of the vehicle that was struck by the suspect vehicle refused treatment at the scene.

Charges against the evading suspects are pending.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Evading Theft Suspects Taken Into Custody After Causing Accident in League City

Father faces charges after he and missing boy found at hotel, authorities say

A father is facing charges after he and his 4-year-old son, who was reported missing, were found Saturday afternoon at a motel on the Northeast Side.

Multiple agencies worked since Friday afternoon to find Caleb Tondre and his father, Christopher Tondre. Authorities said the two were found at 6:43 p.m. Saturday at the motel.

Authorities said Tondre took his son after he assaulted his wife in a domestic disturbance.

RELATED: Midland child reported missing found in San Antonio, FBI official says

Caleb is unharmed and in the custody of the San Antonio Police Department, officials said. Tondre is in jail, charged with aggravated kidnapping and child endangerment.

Officials said the apprehension was made after a relative was followed and talked to after numerous hours of surveillance.

Tondre will be arraigned before a magistrate in San Antonio, officials said. Deputies from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office will take him back to Midland, where he will be arraigned and await trial in the Midland County Jail.

The Sheriff’s Office said the boy’s mother is trying to make arrangements to pick up her son in San Antonio.

President Trump commented on the story, saying on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Father faces charges after he and missing boy found at hotel, authorities say

Confederate Monument Protest Draws Hundreds in Houston

 

Several hundred protesters (and a couple dozen counter-protesters) are attending the “Destroy the Confederacy!” protest in Sam Houston Park in Houston.

Posted by The Texas Observer on Saturday, August 19, 2017

A week after a ferocious and fatal white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, about 300 people gathered for a “Destroy the Confederacy” protest in downtown Houston.

“These statues remind black people of all the horrible things racist white folks have done,” Houston Black Lives Matter organizer Ashton Woods told the Observer Saturday afternoon near Sam Houston Park. “Their existence only encourages racist white people to keep doing crazy crap.”

The Spirit of the Confederacy statue in downtown Houston.  Iván Abrego/flickr

The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the “Spirit of the Confederacy” monument in a leafy corner of the park in 1908. Confederate memorials often feature rifle-welding sentinels, but the Houston memorial depicts a 12-foot-tall nude male angel holding a sword and palm leaf.

“To all the heroes of the South who fought for the principles of states rights,” reads an inscription.

Prior to the demonstration, Woods warned that the event could turn violent — on Facebook he advised attendees “NOT to bring children” — but the protest stayed relatively calm and no arrests were reported.

In an effort to pre-empt violence and protect the statue, dozens of Houston Police Department officers closed the park to protesters, who gathered on a nearby street. A few dozen pro-Confederate demonstrators, several donning body armor and brandishing semi-automatic rifles, were kept about 100 feet away from anti-Confederate protesters by officers on horseback. 

“This monument has been around since 1908 and never hurt nobody,” said Vince Powers, a 56-year-old counter-protester from New Waverly, about 60 miles north of downtown Houston. Powers wore a Confederate flag T-shirt and waved a Confederate flag during the protest.

“The Civil War wasn’t about slavery. Southerners just wanted to be left alone,” Powers insisted.

Academic consensus holds that slavery was precisely the cause of the war, and Texas’ Ordinance of Secession, the document that officially separated Texas from the Union in 1861, states that Texas seceded because non-slave-holding states “demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the Confederacy.”

Asked about black Texans who might find the monument offensive, Powers replied: “Too bad.”

Since the fatal Charlottesville protest, the debate over memorials that glorify the Confederacy has reached a fever pitch. City officials in Houston, Dallas, Austin, El Paso and San Antonio reacted quickly and took steps toward removing or renaming Confederate memorials. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered a study of Houston’s Confederate monuments. There are at least two such memorials in the Bayou City and at least 178 throughout Texas. A large rally is expected Saturday night in Dallas.

Houston Black Lives Matter organizer Ashton Woods  John Savage

“I do think it’s important for us to review our inventory and then to make the most appropriate decision that’s in the best interest of our city and that does not glorify those things that we shouldn’t be glorifying,” Turner said Tuesday during a city council meeting.

Woods, the Black Lives Matter activist, said he thinks Turner will remove the statues.

“There’s no reason that Houston, the fourth largest city in the country, a city with a black mayor, should have Confederate statues on display in 2017,” Woods said.

The post Confederate Monument Protest Draws Hundreds in Houston appeared first on The Texas Observer.

Posted in Latest, Local, State | Comments Off on Confederate Monument Protest Draws Hundreds in Houston

Former HPD officer among those arrested in prostitution sting

A former Houston police officer and more than 250 sex buyers and traffickers were arrested on prostitution charges during a monthlong sting by the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

A national coalition of law enforcement agencies called the National Johns Suppression Initiative made over 1,000 arrests between June 28 and July 31. Law enforcement agencies in 17 states took part in the operation.

According to court documents, Darrin Thomas, a former HPD officer, was charged with prostitution. Thomas has been charged in the past for theft in 2010, according to court records.

Harris County deputies arrested 161 sex buyers and HPD officers arrested 88 sex buyers and nine sex traffickers.

“Our aim is for Harris County and Houston to shed the dubious distinction as America’s sex trafficking capital,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “By focusing our efforts on sex buyers who are seeking to take advantage of sex trafficking victims, we are putting these predators on notice that our community won’t tolerate their behavior.”

The annual operation is coordinated by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois.

PHOTOS: 250+ sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit operated the sting with the cooperation of eight area hotels.

They made a handful of significant arrests:

A man in possession of 60 grams of hydrocodone and $4,360 cash, which was submitted for possible seizure.

A man who was previously arrested for prostitution by the Vice Unit in January.

A convicted sex offender.

A man in possession of $6,722, which was submitted for possible seizure.

Two suspects with handguns in their vehicles.

“I want to commend the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit for their tireless work to make our community safer for our most vulnerable residents,” Gonzalez said. “We will continue to vigorously pursue sex buyers so that they never feel comfortable paying for sex in Harris County.”

The Houston Area Women’s Center is deep in the trenches in the fight to stop sex trafficking in Houston. The center provides support services to victims and survivors.

“It’s happening right in our backyard. It’s so important to address this issue. Those numbers are astonishing and it’s so important that we still come together to try and help reduce those numbers. It is our responsibility as a community to respond as well,” said Celinda Guerra of the Houston Area Women’s Center.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you’re on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Former HPD officer among those arrested in prostitution sting

Mother charged with murder after child ejected during drunken driving crash

A 29-year-old woman is facing murder charges after authorities said she was intoxicated when her child was ejected from her vehicle during a drunken driving crash early last month.

Her 7-year-old child was ejected from a vehicle and killed, and two other children were injured in the single-vehicle crash in northeast Houston on July 7.

According to police, Edith Abrego was speeding along the 400 block of Maxey Road just before 1 a.m. when she lost control of a Nissan Rogue, went into a grassy area, hit a speed limit sign, continued into the grassy area, hit a manhole cover and went airborne before the SUV landed on its side on the road and ended up resting in the parking lot of a party supply store.

The 7-year-old who was thrown from the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Two other children, a boy and girl ages 6 and 4, were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Abrego was also taken to Memorial Hermann with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said investigators found several closed bottles and an opened bottle of alcohol in the SUV.

The owner of the party supply store lit a candle and placed it in the parking lot where the boy died.

“Mainly, it was respect. And it was for him, for like, to be able to find rest,” Guilibaldo Villarreal said. “For him to rest in peace, find his way to heaven, for his soul to be able to rest and for him to be able to continue.”

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you’re on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Mother charged with murder after child ejected during drunken driving crash

Over 250 sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting

More than 250 sex buyers and traffickers were arrested on prostitution charges during a month-long sting by the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

A national coalition of law enforcement agencies called the National Johns Suppression Initiative made over 1,000 arrests between June 28 and July 31. Law enforcement agencies in 17 states took part in the operation.

Harris County deputies arrested 161 sex buyers and HPD officers arrested 88 sex buyers and nine sex traffickers.

“Our aim is for Harris County and Houston to shed the dubious distinction as America’s sex trafficking capital,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “By focusing our efforts on sex buyers who are seeking to take advantage of sex trafficking victims, we are putting these predators on notice that our community won’t tolerate their behavior.”

The annual operation is coordinated by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois.

PHOTOS: 250+ sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit operated the sting with the cooperation of eight area hotels.

They made a handful of significant arrests:

A man in possession of 60 grams of hydrocodone and $4,360 cash, which was submitted for possible seizure.

A man who was previously arrested for prostitution by the Vice Unit in January.

A convicted sex offender.

A man in possession of $6,722, which was submitted for possible seizure.

Two suspects with handguns in their vehicles.

“I want to commend the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit for their tireless work to make our community safer for our most vulnerable residents,” Gonzalez said. “We will continue to vigorously pursue sex buyers so that they never feel comfortable paying for sex in Harris County.”

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you’re on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Over 250 sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting

Body found in Bayou Vista while searching for woman who disappeared under ‘suspicious circumstances’

Authorities searching for a missing 30-year-old woman who disappeared under suspicious circumstances found a body near where she was last seen, according to authorities in Galveston County.

Jessica McDonald was last seen in the Bayou Vista area of Galveston County on Aug. 15.

On Aug. 18, a body was found at the end of Lakeside Drive in Old Bayou Vista, authorities said.

Authorities have not yet identified the body as that of McDonald.

McDonald is described as having medium-length blond hair, green eyes, is about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds.

President Trump weighed in on the story, commenting on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Body found in Bayou Vista while searching for woman who disappeared under ‘suspicious circumstances’

HPD officer relieved of duty after DWI charge, officials say

Officer Suro was in trouble with HPD once before,
after she posted nekkid pictures of herself online in 2012.

A Houston Police Department officer has been relieved of duty after being charged with DWI Tuesday.

Stacey Ann Suro, 47, was relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of an investigation, according to authorities.

Suro was previously demoted from sergeant to officer after she was caught posting photos, some nude, on a website.

President Trump weighed in on the story, commenting on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on HPD officer relieved of duty after DWI charge, officials say

Prosecution rests at trial of woman accused in 2012 death of husband

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday against a Houston woman who is accused of killing her husband nearly five years ago and staging a home invasion to cover it up.

Before defense attorneys for Sandra Melgar began to present their case, they asked the judge for a directed verdict, seeking to dismiss the case. The judge denied the request.

The brother of Jaime Melgar, Sandra Melgar’s husband, was the first to take the stand as the defense began presenting witnesses.

Investigators said that relatives found the Melgars on Dec. 23, 2012, tied up in closets. Jamie Melgar had been stabbed, investigators said.

Sandra Melgar told investigators that she had blacked out and woke up in the closet, not knowing how she and her husband ended up there, according to police.

Nineteen months later, a grand jury indicted Sandra Melgar on a murder charge.

President Trump weighed in on the story, commenting on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Prosecution rests at trial of woman accused in 2012 death of husband

Confederate statue controversy hits Houston

There’s a battle brewing in the United States, and how government officials should answer to it is causing even more tension, including in Houston.

“This is a defining moment and the question is, how are we going to answer?” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

At issue are Confederate monuments in public spaces and whether or not they should be taken down.

“You just can’t all of a sudden say, ‘We’re going to go in and tear down everything.’ That’s not the answer,” Turner said. “We all have values that we want to protect and we can hold to those values and we can do it in a very peaceful, respectful way.”

This debate follows the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Like a number of cities across the country, some people in Houston are asking the city’s mayor to take down Confederate monuments, arguing the monuments glorify negative aspects of American history.

One local group has started a petition to remove a statue from Sam Houston Park.

Another group is planning a protest to have it taken down.

The answer, according to Turner, is to take an inventory of all the city’s monuments and present it to a group of people, including local historians that he will choose to study each one.

President Trump weighed in on the story, commenting on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Confederate statue controversy hits Houston

Fisherman hooks gator in Buffalo Bayou

It was supposed to be a normal day of fishing for Katy’s Kyle Naegeli, but what he had on the end of his line was no catfish.

Naegeli recorded the entire catch on his GoPro camera.

On it you hear him say, “Oh my. A freaking gator! Oh my gosh! What the heck?!”

That’s right.

When the 19-year-old went fishing in Buffalo Bayou in Cinco Ranch last Monday, he caught a 7-foot-long alligator.

“I was freaking out,” Naegeli said. “I was like, ‘What are we going to do with this thing?’ Because it was pulling line. I didn’t know what to do.”

Naegeli and a friend had been fishing in the bayou for less than an hour. Using live blue gills for bait he had already caught a good-sized catfish.

Fifteen minutes later, it felt like he had one that was even bigger.

“What the heck? That’s a gator,” Naegeli can be heard saying on the recording. “I thought I had a big catfish.”

The gator held onto the line for a few minutes — even got close for Naegeli’s GoPro camera. The plan was to cut the line but the gator ended of breaking it itself.

“The gator, it really wasn’t pulling that hard when I got up to the bank, but it was heavy,” Naegeli said. “So the bank was like a 10-foot drop-off so there was no way I was going to haul him up the bank.”

Naegeli said he’s been fishing since he was about 2 years old. He said this is the second time he says he caught an alligator, but the first one was only 3 or 4 feet long.

President Trump commented on the story, saying on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Fisherman hooks gator in Buffalo Bayou

Squatters or scam victims? Homeowner finds another family living in home

As neighbors tried to figure out why constable cars lined their street, authorities tried to figure out who is currently living in the home in question.

“Well, this house has been vacant for a couple (of) years, so that obviously raised some red flags to the people that live around here,” Jeff Mcshan, of Harris County Precinct 5, said.

A neighbor called authorities after they noticed people — other than the owners — living inside the one-story home.

When constables and the actual owner showed up, nobody was home and they couldn’t get inside because someone had changed the locks.

“They made forced entry into the home and they found out there is a lot of furniture inside. Some of the walls look like they’ve been painted and someone is obviously living there. There are several beds located inside,” Mcshan said.

The owner says he did not rent or sell his vacant home, which has some people questioning if squatters are occupying it.

People who live on the street say they thought it was just a new neighbor. They said they would see a woman, man and children sitting outside.

“I saw them move in with a moving truck, so I figured they were moving into the house,” Aaron Dushkin said.

The observation has investigators wondering if maybe the mysterious new neighbors were conned into renting the home.

“They may have been scammed. There are a lot of different scenarios that could have happened here so it could be some folks that moved in and they’re acting as squatters or it could be someone that answered an ad,” Mcshan said.

President Trump commented on the story, saying on Twitter that “there is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides.”

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on Squatters or scam victims? Homeowner finds another family living in home

Deputies Go Unpunished for Invasive Cavity Search on Houston Roadside

Harris County Sheriff’s Office dashcam footage of the June 2015 stop and search.  Sam Cammack/courtesy

The courts have long ruled that warrantless body cavity searches are, in most circumstances, unconstitutional. Impromptu roadside anal and vaginal probes are prohibited by both state law and policies adopted by many of the state’s largest law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean cops who engage in warrantless roadside cavity searches will always face consequences. This month, Harris County prosecutors dropped criminal charges against two Harris County sheriff’s deputies accused of helping vaginally probe Charnesia Corley after they smelled weed during a June 2015 traffic stop in north Houston. The sheriff’s office has already cleared both deputies of any wrongdoing, and both are expected to stay with the department. One of them could even soon return to patrol duty.

That’s what prompted the attorney handling Corley’s federal lawsuit against the county to release dash-cam footage on Monday that he says proves she was subjected to an illegal search. The video, first published by the Houston Chronicle, appears to show the deputies forcing Corley face-first on the pavement near her car before spreading her legs and shining a flashlight around her genitals.

Corley’s attorney, Sam Cammack, also called for officials to appoint a special prosecutor to pursue charges against the deputies. In a phone call with the Observer this past weekend, ahead of the video’s release, Cammack called the footage “undeniable proof this woman was violated.”

The deputies’ attorneys have claimed they “never penetrated” Corley during the stop, something that the dash-cam footage released Monday doesn’t seem to prove or disprove. In a response filed in the federal lawsuit, Harris County attorneys deny the deputies ever conducted a body cavity search, but rather forced Corley to the ground during a “visual strip search.” Natasha Sinclair, chief of the DA’s civil rights division, which investigates allegations against police officers, told the Observer that while grand jurors didn’t think the deputies committed any crime, “We don’t condone this type of search at all. This is by no means us saying this is an appropriate way to conduct a search.”

The courts have long ruled that the kind of warrantless search Corley says she endured is only justified when police can show that waiting for a judge’s approval would have resulted in “imminent loss or destruction of evidence,” which the county hasn’t even argued in Corley’s case.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office dashcam footage of the June 2015 stop and search.  Sam Cammack/courtesy

However, roadside probes like Corley’s have surfaced in state and federal courts across Texas in recent years. In 2014, a North Texas state trooper pleaded guilty to two counts of official oppression after sticking her hand inside the pants of two women on the side of the George Bush Turnpike while searching for drugs. Even after DPS updated its policy to ban warrantless roadside cavity searches, drivers still complained of deputies probing them during traffic stops. In 2015, state lawmakers passed a new law requiring cops to obtain search warrants before conducting roadside body cavity searches.

That law, which went into effect three months after deputies strip-searched Corley in a Texaco parking lot, carries no criminal penalties for law enforcement officers who violate it.

Citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, Sinclair wouldn’t explain why her office dropped charges against the deputies in Corley’s case earlier this month, other than to say her office had discovered new evidence they presented to another grand jury, which on August 4 cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing. “I’m prohibited from commenting on exactly what that content was,” she told the Observer.

Cammack meanwhile bristles that the deputies, who were both cleared of wrongdoing by an internal sheriff’s office investigation, will likely remain with the department. In a statement published by the Chronicle on Monday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, “I understand and respect the community’s concerns” regarding Corley’s treatment. Gonzalez said both deputies are expected to remain with the department. One of them, he said, “will be allowed to return to patrol duties.”

Cammack says that’s an unacceptable outcome. “This woman was half-naked, handcuffed and face-down on the ground when they penetrated her,” he said. “That deserves some kind of accountability.”

The post Deputies Go Unpunished for Invasive Cavity Search on Houston Roadside appeared first on The Texas Observer.

Posted in Latest, Local, State | Comments Off on Deputies Go Unpunished for Invasive Cavity Search on Houston Roadside

‘I feel like I was raped,’ woman says of invasive roadside strip search

The dashcam video was recorded two years ago, but Charnesia Corely said she still feels the pain of what happened that night.

She said Harris County deputies pulled her over in northwest Harris County for running a red light, but when the officer approached her car he said he smelled marijuana, according to Corely.

Corely was handcuffed as a female officer patted her down and then removed her pants and began what she called an invasive and humiliating strip search.

“She tells me, ‘Just bend over.’ I hesitate … She shines light on me …. She proceeds to stick her fingers toward my vaginal area … I immediately pop up (and say), ‘Ma’am what are you doing?'” Corely said.

The dashcam video showed her on the ground naked from the waist down with her legs pinned for nearly 11 minutes while two female deputies search her.

“She grabs me by handcuffs, slams me on the ground, puts her knee in my back … shoves her fingers up inside of me,” Corely said.

Corely was charged with possession of marijuana and resisting arrest, but the district attorney later dropped the charges.

WATCH: Harris County deputies’ roadside strip-search

Under DA Devon Anderson, two officers were indicted by a grand jury for official oppression, but last week the DA’s office now led by Kim Ogg announced they’d taken the case to a second grand jury, which no-billed the deputies, and the charges were dismissed.

“We discovered new, and significant, evidence that we believed had to be presented to grand jury,” Natasha Sinclair, with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said.

The DA’s office wouldn’t say what the new evidence was, citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

“There’s been no new evidence related to any material fact in the case. Ms. Corely’s story has been consistent and the same throughout,” Sam Cammack, Corely’s attorney, said.

Cammack said the only evidence that matters is the dashcam recording.

“They claim they found something … But it doesn’t matter at the end of the day what they found, because what they did to find it was illegal,” Cammack said.

“They’re supposed to protect you. They’re supposed to keep you safe, not rape you. That’s how I feel. I feel like I was raped,” Corely said.

A White House spokesman has characterized the story as “fake news” and stated that President Trump believes it is nothing more than a “witch hunt”.

 

Posted in Latest, Local | Comments Off on ‘I feel like I was raped,’ woman says of invasive roadside strip search