Friday, August 31, 2007

Car crashes into house

But, it did so only because it was rammed by a man who was running from the police.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A man faced multiple charges Friday after he led police on a high-speed chase.

Police said that the man rammed his sport utility vehicle into another vehicle that ended up crashing into a home.

He was caught, and he got pretty beat up in the process. (Video link)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Victim's kin split at hearing for ex-cop in 'Starlight' case"

This case (Express-News source) just keeps getting weirder.

It was strange enough when the transsexual called Gabriel Bernal, a.k.a. "Starlight", accused a San Antonio police officer of raping him late at night. The officer was convicted of the crime a year ago and is now serving time, and that seemed to be the end of the case.

But now, family members of Starlight are casting doubt on his story, and the cop wants a new trial, saying he had been set up.

Dean Gutierrez, 47, a 16-year veteran of the force, had a gallery full of supportive family even while relatives of the victim, 24-year-old Gabriel Bernal, formerly known as "Starlight," were taking turns on the stand to either buttress or cast doubt on the argument by Gutierrez's new defense team that the rape charge was a setup.


At issue is the contention by the new defense team members from the Federal Defender's Office that an FBI report and other documents they only recently learned about would have led them to an estranged aunt of Bernal's, Carol Lopez, who would have opened a wider vein of inquiry exposing the setup conspiracy.


On Wednesday, Bernal's mother, brother, sister-in-law, uncle, two sisters and an aunt testified — often visibly stressed and offering conflicting and fragmented statements — about whether they had heard Bernal "bragging" about the incident. Prosecutor Bill Baumann characterized the testimony as arising from a "milieu of bitter family discord."

Brother Rocky Bernal testified that he spoke on various occasions with Gabriel Bernal, including after Gutierrez's conviction.

"I said, "And (Gutierrez) is just sitting there (in prison) for no reason?" And he said, 'Yeah,'" Rocky Bernal said.

Weird stuff. I don't know what to think at this point.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007



(From KENS-5)

"They seem to think it's not just a mange coyote," says Cuero resident Phylis Canion. It's been several weeks since Phylis Canion picked up the blue-colored road kill out on Highway 183, the animal she says was taking her cats and draining her chickens of blood.

Locals wonder if she'd captured a creature of folklore: The Chupacabra. "At this point, we just don't know," says Canion.

Now, Canion is capturing something else: International attention.

"These shirts, four of them, are going to Sicily. We have sent shirts to Guam, Iraq, California, Memphis," says Canion. The t-shirts started as a joke among family members.

Now, in sizes including triple-XL, are being shipped as far away as Australia.

Hey, the chupacabra is just crazy enough to be irresistable, even if it is just a mange coyote. Canion's town of Cuero is definitely going chupacabra crazy, and some are even joking about changing the school mascot to a name reminiscent of the cryptid. Who knows, this might be a boon for Cuero, just like the aliens have been for Roswell.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Car crashes into horses

Wow. This probably hurt (from KSAT-12):

SAN ANTONIO -- A sport utility vehicle struck and killed two horses Tuesday night in southwest Bexar County.

The SUV was headed south on Wheeler Road when it hit the horses near Pearsall Road, sheriff's officials said.

The driver was transported to Methodist Hospital with minor injuries.

I'm surprised the driver wasn't hurt worse. Two horses. That's a lot of stopping power.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"'Tribe' sells citizenship for $400"

Are you here in this country illegally? Would you like to get a fast track to U.S. citizenship? Do you think membership in a local Indian tribe will help you?

Think again.

From Anastasia Ustinova of the Express-News:

When pastor Victor Ramirez told Antonio Rodriguez that a tribal membership could help him receive U.S. citizenship, Rodriguez thought the $400 fee was worth the deal.

“I would have much more rights as a U.S. citizen,” said Rodriguez, who hurt his back working at a fruit warehouse in Edinburg and was hoping to receive Medicaid benefits.

But the offer was too good to be true.

Texas officials say thousands of immigrants such as Rodriguez have been scammed by the Kaweah Indian Nation, whose tribal status is not recognized by the federal government.


On Monday, Attorney General Greg Abbot filed a lawsuit against the tribe's leader, Malcolm “Grand Chief Thunderbird IV” Webber of Wichita, Kan., pastor Ramirez of Edinburg and Ralph Tipton of San Antonio, who serves as the group's “ambassador” to Texas.

The lawsuit states the three have “grossly exaggerated the legal effect of membership in their so-called tribe.”

Welcome to America, where grifters don't care about your legal status. Besides, Chief Thunderbird? Shouldn't that have raised a few red flags? I guess "The American Classic" is unknown south of the border. Perhaps it's a good thing Malcolm Webber didn't go by Presidente.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Remember: 2

Just a little odd, in an amusing way.

Car crashes into house

Once more. Yet again.

From the Express-News:

Around 4:30 p.m., Ernest Rojas, 56, said he was walking with his teenage son about a block from their home in the 100 block of Southolme when he saw the Mustang go off I-35, over a grassy median and the access road, and into the side of his father-in-law's home.

"I've never seen something like that before," Rojas said, surveying the damage to the property.

I have, just not as it actually happened.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

You can't fight city hall

Well, I guess you can, but sometimes you don't get anywhere. Except maybe into a closet. When there's no one there.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Police said a man attacked a security guard and forced his way inside city hall Friday night.

During the struggle, 57-year-old Jay Swob took Riojas' gun and aimed it at the security guard, according to police. Police said the clip had luckily fallen from the pistol during the melee, rendering the weapon useless.


"Officers searched the building with a K-9 unit and located the male on the second floor inside the city clerk's office inside a closet," said Lt. Matthew Podwika, of the San Antonio police.

Officers said when they got close to the closet Swob began shouting, "The hostages don't have to die" and "Don't make me kill the hostages."

No hostages were found in the empty building and Swob was taken into custody, said police.

The security guard is going to be OK.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Car Explodes, Sets House On Fire"

This is something you probably wouldn't expect to happen at your house (from KSAT-12).

Maria Schweikert said she was in her garage getting ready to leave her home at 9:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Zephyr when she heard an explosion underneath her vehicle.

"The car exploded," Schweikert said.

Thinking her garage was on fire, Schweikert tried to back her car out, but then she realized it was her car that was on fire.

Schweikert ran inside to call for help, but the telephones weren't working, all the while flames were spreading inside her home.

She made it out OK, though her house was burned. Sounds like she was pretty lucky overall.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Advocating a revolution

He may not have won the mayor's race, but R.G. Griffing apparently plans to take power the old-fashioned way -- revolution.

From his Web site:

SAL Calls For Gentle Overthrow Of Government

NonViolent, Of Course?

RG Griffing, Editor/Publisher San Antonio Lightning Newspaper

Are you suckers, rubes and hicks fed up yet?

I am.

* * *

I love the Constitution and I adore America.

But I abhor what is happening to our governance, our ways of life, and I blame YOU for allowing this to happen.

Well, I may have some culpability as well. I admit it.

But no more.

Revolution is healthy, in some instances.

Remember, this is the guy who "sold 'ZonaPair Invisible Underwear' and parcels of land on Mars." So, should we take seriously his call for "NonViolent" revolution? Of Course?

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Man Holds Up Store With Plastic Gun"

If you got tired of your wife, what would you do? Divorce her? Take a vacation by yourself? Get counseling?

This guy decided it would be better to go back to the slammer, so he got himself arrested (from KSAT-12).

SAN ANTONIO -- A robbery suspect told police he would rather go back to jail than go back home to his wife after he held up an Academy store with a fake gun Tuesday on the city's Northwest Side, police said.

Officers arrested 31-year-old Danny Herrera on accusations that he held up the sports store on Northwest Loop 410 with a plastic gun.

According to a police report, Herrera told detectives that he was tired of his wife and he wanted to go back to jail.

Three squares a day, a place to sleep, no rent----and no wife. I guess that works out well for Danny Herrera.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Secret price at the Tower

Psst, if you want to ride to the top of the Tower of the Americas, don't forget to ask for the secret, cheaper price.

WOAI-TV reports:

A secret question could save you money at the Tower of the Americas. ...

The posted price at the ticket counter, to go up to the observation deck is $10.95, that includes a theater production.

If you know what to ask for, and just want to see the observation deck, you can get one for $5.

A Landry's spokesperson said, "People should just know to ask for the cheaper ticket."

Now, you know.

I wonder if they have secret prices on the menu, too.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"Primarily Primates Sues To Get 7 Chimps Back"

As reported on KSAT-12's Web site, Primarily Primates -- an animal sanctuary near San Antonio -- is trying to get back some chimpanzees it lost to another sanctuary in Louisiana over some complaints about living conditions. You can read the article to get the whole story, but I found the name of the spokeswoman for an animal group apt, which makes it a little strange.
"We believe we hold title to them," said Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals, an animal advocacy group that is merging with Primarily Primates. "Their designated place of retirement was Primarily Primates." [emphasis added]
An advocate for animals named Feral. Classic.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Short chase ends after car hits tree"

Some robbers flee police, hit another vehicle, crash into a tree, and run away on foot. Police set up a perimeter, and they catch the robbers. What business was so tempting that these guys just couldn't resist robbing it and putting themselves, law enforcement, and citizens in danger?

The snow cone business.

From the Express-News:

A north patrol officer spotted four people apparently trying to rob a sno-cone stand on Nacogdoches Road.

I know it gets hot around here, and I'm sure the snow cone business is good, but would there really be enough loot at one of those stands to split four ways?

Friday, August 03, 2007

"Four arrested after call for help"

Just remember, if you have warrants out for your arrest, it might not do you any good to call the police for a minor disturbance.

From the Express-News:

The mother called police around 7 p.m. saying one of her sons suffers from bipolar disorder and was acting erratically, Sgt. Mark Hubbard said. The man had outstanding warrants, Hubbard said, and when the two officers at the scene attempted to arrest him, the man’s two brothers tried to fight the officers, Hubbard said.

The mother also had outstanding warrants and was arrested at the scene.

And they're all cooling off now, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cars crashed into house

A home in San Antonio has the sad distinction of being hit by cars four different times. Wet streets may have something to do with it, but neighbors think the street design is faulty, and they want it fixed so the residents can live in peace. So, the city is going to do a traffic study to see if anything can be done about it.

The KSAT-TV Defenders look into the matter at this video link.