Monday, September 29, 2008

"Poteet City Council Removes Indicted Mayor From Office"


From KSAT-12:

POTEET, Texas -- Mayor Lino Donato, indicted and arrested last week on charges he had improper contact with a child, was removed from his position Monday evening by the Poteet City Council.

The council voted to vacate Donato's position, as he had not been to three consecutive meetings without an excused absence. Donato was already on probation after pleading guilty less than a year ago to similar charges.

And a small town south of here sighs with relief.

[Earlier stuff here.]

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Announcing his intentions

I don't have OnStar in my car, but I'm glad now it was invented. And I'm glad the mentally unstable person who planned to kill others had the idea to use it before he went into action.

WOAI-TV reports:

SAN ANTONIO - Several lives very well may have been saved when a man called Onstar and threatened to kill himself and others if they interfered.

Known for its road side assistance, help with directions, and emergency services, Onstar may have saved many people's lives Friday night after a New Braunfels man said something very scary to the Onstar operator.

“He stated that he's been off his medication and that he was down in San Antonio and he wanted to cause a blood bath,” said Sgt. Daniel Anders from the San Antonio Police Department.

Police were called and Onstar was able to tell them exactly where to find the man. Police confronted the man at a Lowes parking lot on the Northeast Side near I-35. The man's identity has not been release[d].

Thank you, General Motors.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Thieves Landscape Lawn, Then Come Back To Steal"

If your yard got some landscaping, and you didn't order any, you'd be right to be a little suspicious.


Robert Cisneros bought his truck about a month ago. Since then, some very odd things have happened.

It all started about 2 weeks ago with some landscaping bricks.

"It wasn't like they stacked them up and said here's your bricks," Cisneros said. "They actually put some time. They made it look really nice around the tree."

The problem is, Cisneros didn't order any landscaping.

No one in the neighborhood could figure out how the bricks got around the tree.

The landscaping kept the Cisneros, his family, and his neighbors guessing. That is, until Thursday morning when they all found out exactly what the bricks were doing there and the 4 reasons the thieves needed them.

Most of the lug nuts were on the lawn, but [the] wheel wells on Cisneros' truck were empty and his wheels and tires were gone. It was a screwy set of circumstances that taught the Cisneros family and their neighbors a lesson.

The lesson? That there is no such thing as a free lunch, and no one will landscape your lawn for free. Beware of sudden gifts.

"Another Day, Another Antic From Murder Defendant"

Crazy, or not?

You decide.

SAN ANTONIO -- It didn't take long or much for a murder defendant who managed to get himself thrown out of court twice this week to get tossed Friday.

Moments after Richard Jett was brought into court in a wheelchair in the 379th District Court, the defendant went off on Judge Bert Richardson."This is inhumane, man," Jett said about being restrained. "This is torture. Barbaric. Kill me now, Judge Richardson. Put me out of my misery, man. Get these bogus-a-- attorneys off my case."

Previous antics here and here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Jett Smears Feces On Himself Before Trial"

Yesterday it was a marker pen. Now it's poop.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- In a continuing effort to disrupt his murder trial, a man accused of stabbing another to death took a smelly route Thursday.

Richard Jett, accused of stabbing 80-year-old Homer Daniels to death in 2006, soiled himself and spread feces on his body just as his trial was scheduled to begin.

Jett was removed from the courtroom before proceedings began and the victim's son took the witness stand.


Testimony is expected to continue in the morning, but there is no word on Jett's possible presence. Previously, Jett has marked his body and face with a marker, removed and attempted to flush his clothing and lunged toward his attorney before being restrained.

A challenging trial, to say the least.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Murder Defendant Removed From Courtroom Again"

The trial of Richard Jett gets weirder, as KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- A 50-year-old man accused of murder arrived in court Wednesday covered with markings on his body and then lunged at a lawyer before he was forcibly removed.

The incident was the latest in courtroom disruptions by Richard Jett, who is on trial in the fatal stabbing of an 80-year-old man in 2006.

Despite informing District Judge Bert Richardson on Tuesday that he didn't want to participate in his trial, Jett arrived under heavy guard in the 379th District Court with magic marker markings on his body. It was not immediately known how Jett got the marker, since he is jailed.

KSAT video here.
Previous post here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stooping really low

Stealing from an old lady is already a pretty crappy crime, but actually taking her wheelchair? That's a new low.

WOAI-TV reports:

A thief got away with an elderly woman's purse, keys, and wheelchair. But he may soon be caught because of what police now have.

The thief was caught on tape at a North Side Wal-Mart store. Wal-Mart has multiple cameras overlooking its store and parking lot.

"I thought it was really low stealing, someone stealing a wheelchair. Ya know?" said 78-year-old Joanne Bizzelle as she laughed.


Even though the cameras caught the thief in action Friday, Bizzelle would like the person who is responsible to come forward on his own.

"You're a low life...and I want my cards back," Bizzelle added.

Cards?! I assume she means credit cards, but she just may be talking about playing cards, for all I know.

"Poteet mayor indicted again"

Poor ...

... poor ...

... poor Poteet.

That town's mayor has been brought up on sex crime charges again, as the Express-News reports:

POTEET — Poteet Mayor Lino Donato, who is currently appealing the deferred adjudication he received for pleading guilty to indecency with a child charges in October, was indicted on three new charges related to indecency with a child on Monday.

An Atascosa County grand jury charged Donato with one count each of aggravated sexual assault, a first degree felony, indecency with a child by contact, a second degree felony, and attempted indecency with a child by contact, a third degree felony, according to a list of indictments released by the Atascosa District Clerk's office.


Donato was being held at the Atascosa County Jail on $200,000 bond Tuesday afternoon, officials said. A registered sex offender, he has fought attempts to force him to step down from his mayor's post despite being unable to preside at city council meetings because of the terms of his probation.

Previous stuff here.

"'Tagger' Charged With Causing $12K In Damages"

The good guys caught one. Let's hope they get more.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- Police said they arrested a 19-year-old man who has illegally tagged enough to cause about $12,000 in damages.

Kevin Knable doesn't deny being a graffiti artist, but said San Antonio police arrested the wrong person and instead charged him with felony tagging.

"I say that's bulls**t," Knable said as he was being arrested by police.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Car crashes into house

More vehicular destruction is visited upon a domicile, and KSAT-12 has the video.

Story here.

A family on the southwest side is picking up the pieces after a car crashed into their house early Sunday morning.

Albert Esparza remembers being jolted out of his sleep by a sound no one expects to hear at 3:30 a.m.

"It was just like a blast," said Esparza. "Like two cars going 90 miles an hour and hitting head-on."

Well, like one car hitting a house, probably.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Argument over photos ends with a shooting"

It seems that drink, drugs, and family photos don't mix too well down in southern Bexar County.

From the Express-News:

A 24-year-old man was shot and critically wounded by his uncle in an argument over family photos Saturday afternoon in South Bexar County, authorities said.

Bexar County Sheriff’s detective Buck Buchanan said an afternoon argument over photos escalated to the point that a 42-year-old man, believed to be the uncle of the shooting victim, grabbed a 22-caliber rifle and fired at least once.

The victim, who was not immediately identified, was hit once in the lower back and flown to University Hospital about 45 minutes after the shooting.


Deputies originally responded to the 22500 block of Crossbow about 2:55 p.m. for a call of domestic disturbance, Buchanan said. The argument apparently erupted after a night of alcohol and drugs.

The two had been “drinking beer and snorting cocaine all night long,” Buchanan said.

Scrapbooking can get so ugly.

"Judge Warns Defendant About Representing Himself"

How does that old saying go about someone representing himself and having an idiot for a client?

KSAT-12 tries to find out:

SAN ANTONIO -- District Judge Bert Richardson on Friday warned a murder defendant that he should reconsider his request to act as his own lawyer.

Earlier this week, Richard Jett fired his lawyers during a hearing, saying he wanted to represent himself when his trial begins Monday.

Richardson is concerned about Jett's mental health after the defendant appeared in court wearing boxers. Jett refused to get dressed and tried to flush his clothes down a toilet in his cell, court officials said.

Insanity defense, or just insane?

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Police: man left kids home alone to visit bar"

And now, from the files of bad parenting, a couple who left their children home alone so they could go out partying.

From the Express-News:

Police originally responded to the 120 block of Lee Street last Friday for a burglary call in which neighbors said three juveniles had walked out of a house with a television. When police arrived, they found the front door to the house open and three girls — ranging in age from 11 months to 2 years — asleep on the living room floor with no adults around, the affidavit said.

The girls' father, Fred Vega Jr., told police he left the girls unattended so he could go to a neighborhood bar a few blocks from the residence, the affidavit said.


When police questioned Vega two days after the incident, he told authorities he thought his wife was watching the children. He later told a child welfare worker that he saw his wife at the bar that same night.

His wife also changed her story when questioned by officials. Originally, she told investigators she left the children with a babysitter while she went to visit friends. That story was concocted, she later admitted to police, “so they would not get into trouble for going to the bar,” according to the affidavit.

Asked by her husband to go to the bar that evening, the woman told police she knew leaving the children alone was wrong but Vega made her “feel guilty about not going with him,” according to the affidavit.

Maybe now she feels guilty about being a bad mother and marrying a loser.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Councilwoman Receives Complaints About New Business"

The City Council prigs are still fighting those dangerous businesses that dare to be sexy.

From KSAT-12:

Mary Alice Cisneros, councilwoman for District 1, said her office has received complaints about scantily-clad waitresses and sexually suggestive behavior at a near-downtown cafe called Las Nenas within her district. The complaints have prompted Cisneros to investigate the city's ban on sexually oriented businesses and to check on the cafe's certificate of occupancy and other licensing, she said.

The cafe is located near the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Cincinnati Avenue.

"We are looking into just exactly what sexual orientated businesses are allowed to do and not supposed to be doing," she said.

The concern, Cisneros said, goes beyond her district, citing recent complaints about the Bikini Car Wash in Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos' District 3 and the now-closed Mariposas Cafe in in Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan's District 5.

"It's sprouting all over, whether it's in other district or in mine in particular, and so we will muster the support and do the investigations and move forward," she said.


Really, don't they have anything better to do than to save us from sexiness? How long until waitresses have to start wearing burqas in San Antonio?

Franchesca O'Neal revisited

Remember Franchesca O'Neal, the San Antonio College student who sued a professor over a B grade and included rather violent language in her suit? A commenter on the original post tipped me off that The Ranger, the student newspaper for San Antonio College, has more on this case.

The Alamo Community College District was successful today in obtaining a temporary injunction against a former student of this college.

Franchesca O'Neal, a 26-year-old political science major, was barred from making contact with staff, faculty and students of the district and from entering district property through a temporary restraining order that was issued Sept. 3.

Today's ruling by 57th District Court Judge Joe F. Brown Jr., essentially keeps intact that order concerning faculty and staff, which was set to expire. The prohibition against talking to students was too far-reaching, Brown said.

A final hearing on a permanent injunction is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 8.

I wonder if any students are actually talking to her.

Car crashes into bedroom

Driving mayhem continues; abodes threatened.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- An elderly couple was injured early Thursday when a sport utility vehicle driven by a suspected drunken driver crashed into the bedroom of their apartment on the city's southeast side.

Maria Elena Zamora, 79, was pinned in her bed underneath the vehicle and had to be extracted, police said. She was transported to University Hospital in serious but stable condition, police said. Her husband, Reymundo Zamora, 82, was thrown from the bed. He suffered a minor injury and was hospitalized for observation.

Police said a man was speeding around 1 a.m. when he lost control of his Chevrolet Suburban and crashed into the Highland Hills Apartment Homes in the 3000 block of East Southcross Boulevard.

The bad news is someone got hurt this time. The good news is that some witnesses caught the driver before he could get away.
"I started chasing him down and tripped him," said Casey Jones, who helped stop the driver. "He tried to get up and I shoved him down again and my friends arrived and we roughed him up."

Don't mess with Casey!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Parents and Sitter Blame Each Other For Baby's Injuries"

Someone's going to pay for this. I just wonder who it will be.


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- A 2-month-old baby was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries on Monday.

Police are trying to figure out who is responsible for abusing the baby, who has broken bones, bruises, and bleeding inside his skull.

The child's parents and his babysitter are putting the blame on each other. The boy is being cared for at Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital.


The babysitter said the child's mother dropped him off at her house and told her that the child had a fever. Doctors discovered the little boy had broken legs, head trauma, and bruises on his face and back.

"I'm not blaming her. It could have happened anyhow," said the babysitter. "I don't know. I don't know how that baby has broken legs and a fractured skull. But accidents happen."


"I'm afraid for my family and stuff. I don't want to be blamed for something I didn't do," explained the babysitter. "I tried to help her and that was it."

It seems a little odd that the babysitter is willing to talk to the news media while the mother remains silent. At least in this story.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to strangeness ...

... thanks to Dave at Silver Creek 78250.

For your puzzlement, two dogs in a graveyard, and they are obviously ignoring the warning signs.

Not strange in San Antonio; helpful instead

There's not much to report on the strange side lately. I'm sure there are some odd items out there, but they are just not getting any media play. That's mostly because of Ike. The hurricane did a number on the Houston/Galveston area, and stories from there have been dominating the news cycle. That's OK; the people there need our help and prayers.

And it's good to see the local response. A lot of evacuees made it to the Alamo City, and citizens here have been showing that San Antonio can do at least one thing right, and that's helping our fellow Texans in need.

Check out this story from KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- After spending one night at Port San Antonio, Mirasol Hernandez, her mother and young daughter decided to try and head back to Houston.

But after learning going back home wasn't a good idea, Hernandez and her family spent Friday night in their vehicle at a gasoline station off Interstate 10.

On Saturday morning, two San Antonio women saw what Hernandez was going through and decided to open up their home to a total stranger.

"We saw them and said, 'Hey, you know, you're more than welcome to come to our home if you need somewhere to stay if you don't want to be out here,'" Janie Ramos said in an interview with KSAT 12 News.

Makes me proud.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strange headline of the day

As Hurricane Ike roars ashore, KSAT-12 has a bold headline followed by an unmatched second hed.

AP: About 1M Stayed Behind
Authorities in three counties alone said roughly 90,000 stayed behind, despite a warning from forecasters that many of those in one- or two-story homes faced "certain death."

There's a big difference between 1,000,000 and 90,000.

Since the home pages of the news stations have been changing frequently, I include the screen capture for illustration purposes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brothers of the Flame

Have you ever eaten at Sam's Burger Joint next to U.S. Highway 281? Did you know afficionados of fiery perfomances gather under the highway there on Monday nights?

WOAI-TV blurb here.
Video of the fire art here.

A bit crazy, but it looks cool. And it's a better outlet for creativity than tagging up the place.

"CPS Energy Employee Finds Woman's Body"

This is not something a utility worker should expect to see while on the job.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- The body of a woman was found in south Bexar County on Tuesday.

Sheriff's officials said a CPS Energy employee made the discovery in the 10000 block of Fowler Road at 10 a.m.

The victim's purse was found in a nearby pickup truck that was still running.

The police are treating this as a homicide.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Waiting for Ike

Did you hear? There's a storm coming. Name's Ike.

From KSAT-12:

Ike is expected to blow ashore early Saturday somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston, and some forecasts said it could become a Category 4 storm, with winds of at least 131 mph.

Four counties south and east of Houston have announced mandatory or voluntary evacuations, and authorities are moving weak and chronically ill patients by bus to San Antonio.

South Texas is already getting ready for Ike. Some schools have called off classes through the end of the week, and medically fragile residents are getting on buses to head north.

We'll have a few visitors in town this weekend.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Car crash; house hit

The vehicles, after lulling the homes with a short period of fence assaults, have renewed their primary attacks.

KSAT-12 reports the story:

Police said they were running a speed trap on Prue Road when Devon James, 23, came speeding by at 80 mph.

Police said that when James reached Shady Elms, he veered across traffic and into a home where a woman and her mother were sleeping.

"They were not injured, just a little shook up" said Sgt. Ramona Lopez, spokeswoman for the San Antonio Police Department. "They thought a storm was coming or something."

Coming at 80 miles per hour, that storm was!

UPDATE: Another detail on this incident from WOAI-TV:

Police say the accused drunk driver came barreling down Prue at 80 mph. He crashed through a fence and into Blanca Trevino-Koester's home. She was awake when it happened.

"I heard this roaring noise," said Trevino-Koester. "It sounded like a tornado to me."

Of all the places to be sitting in the house, Trevino-Koester was in the bathroom.

"The impact knocked me off the commode," she said.

That must have been some impact.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Making it way too easy for the police

Some criminals just beg to be caught, as Guillermo Contreras of the Express-News reports:

It probably wasn't too difficult for law officers to pinpoint who might have stolen more than $93,000 from an International Bank of Commerce branch in Castle Hills early Aug. 11.

Someone turned the security alarm off and on using a code assigned to a bank employee; $3,256 vanished from the employee's bank teller drawer; and $90,000 was gone from the bank vault (except the marked bills that can be traced after a robbery), according to federal court documents.

What's more, surveillance videotape showed two people leaving the bank at 2:05 a.m. Aug. 11 — and one was identified by the bank as a person resembling teller Andrea Nicole Clawson, 20. The heist took nine minutes.

A federal grand jury indicted Clawson on Wednesday on a charge of theft by a bank employee. The FBI arrested her Aug. 25 upon her return to San Antonio from a road trip with a childhood friend, according to a criminal complaint affidavit unsealed Wednesday.

Cops just gotta love these types of bad guys.

"Poteet Mayor Facing Investigation By Texas Rangers"

Poor, poor, poor, poor Poteet. That town's mayor -- defiantly staying in office despite his inability to show up to town meetings because they are held too close to a place where children gather (because he is listed as a sex offender) -- is now under investigation by the Texas Rangers.

KSAT-12 has the story:

POTEET, Texas -- A South Texas mayor already convicted of indecency with a child is the focus of a new investigation by the Texas Rangers, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Lino Donato, Poteet's mayor, is a registered sex offender who was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to a child sex offense. Donato is unable to attend council meetings because they're held within 1,000 feet of where children commonly gather.

A DPS representative would not release why Donato is under investigation.

That dude is just trouble all around.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A student who should have thought a little more

Well, when you think your college instructor has shorted you on a grade, you might think twice about filing a lawsuit against him, and you might want to rethink how you word your suit. Especially if you want to be a Supreme Court justice someday.

KSAT-12 has the story of Franchesca O'Neal:

Franchesca O'Neal has filed a lawsuit against speech instructor Charles Falcon for ridiculing her in class and giving her a B when she felt she deserved an A, but the [Alamo Community College District] used statements in O'Neal's legal filing to seek the restraining order.

In the legal filing, O'Neal states she was previously in the military and "can handle a sidearm and a semi-automatic assault rifle," and that "any person of sound mind is not immune to a psychotic break and subsequent killing spree." O'Neal is seeking $300,000 in damages, but the lawsuit states, "in exchange for every penny I have asked for, I would shoot him dead and walk away penniless," and she would, "blow the back of his head out."

O'Neal told KSAT 12 News the legal claim was not a violent threat, but a "spirited discussion in the courts." She said she brought the lawsuit after Falcon allegedly made disparaging comments about her in class and said her reputation and goal of becoming a United States Supreme Court justice is now in jeopardy.

Hmm. I don't know, a B grade might not have ruined her chances of being appointed to the Supreme Court; that seems to be pretty much up to the wishes and desires of the president and Congress, and I'm sure a qualified candidate would not be automatically excluded based on a less than perfect grade.

Now, a death threat, on the other hand, might get you taken off the short list.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Making it easy for the police

Sometimes robbers just don't think their crimes all the way through. And sometimes that makes it easy for the police to catch them.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Police arrested a robbery suspect in the unlikeliest of places Wednesday.

The man stole cash, lottery tickets and beer from a convenience store on West Avenue, police said.

Officers eventually located the man counting the cash he took in the robbery while swinging on a swing set in a front yard in the 1800 block of West Olmos, police said.

Heh heh heh. Didn't even think to count the money in the back yard.

"Mom Shocked About Finding Body in Neighborhood"

This isn't something you would expect to find on the sidewalk.

WOAI-TV has the story:

A man was found dead along a sidewalk on the Northeast Side Wednesday morning.

The man was found just after 7 a.m. on Tallulah near Fort Sam Houston.

"I'm not used to seeing stuff like this," said Jeanne Gutierrez.

Gutierrez told News 4 she left the neighborhood to take her daughter to school. She said the man's body wasn't there when she left, but was when she came back.

"I drove up on Tallulah, like I always do normally," explained Gutierrez. "And I saw him lying there."

Police are treating this as a homicide.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"Couple Unknowingly Gives Robber A Ride"

If you see someone who needs a ride to a check-cashing place, you might not want to wait around for him to get done with his business.


A couple trying to do a good deed instead ended up helping a man commit a bad one Tuesday morning.

The couple gave a man a ride to a check cashing store in the 300 block of W.W. White Road on the East Side around 10:15 a.m. The man got out and went inside while the couple waited in the truck.

A few minutes later, the man ran out of the store. The couple, believing the man would return for a ride back with them, continued to wait in the truck. Instead, the police showed up, and the couple found out the store had been robbed.

The robber got away, and the couple is OK, but maybe they'll think twice about picking up hitchers in the future.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Loving the golf cart

In Comal County, there appears to be a serial golf-cart thief, as the Bulverde Community News reports:

Just before 3 p.m. on Aug. 19, a male subject committed a theft at the Canyon Lake Golf Club, located at 405 Watts Lane, in Canyon Lake.

The thief jumped into a blue golf cart parked at the club and made his escape through the golf course, with employees in hot pursuit.

The suspect may have arrived at the scene of the crime in another golf cart, which was previously stolen from the club in May. The formerly beige cart was painted black and found abandoned nearby with a flat tire.

The route taken to steal the cart was through the golf course, into the Greens of Canyon Lake and The Oaks subdivisions. The blue cart was located within the hour of the theft, in the 200 block of High Oaks Drive, in the Oaks subdivision.

Grand theft cart, complete with a hot pursuit.