Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A noose in an art park

Art or insensitivity?

You decide.
SAN ANTONIO -- Is it art? Or an offensive symbol of racism? That's what some people passing a popular sculpture garden on the Northwest Side are asking about a large noose seen hanging from a tree.

That noose is hanging from a tree in the 11,300 block of Vance Jackson Rd. Some people passing by are calling it disturbing. The 30-foot-long hangman's noose is draped over a tree at Sculptors Dominion.


The founder of Sculptors Dominion, Gilbert Barrera declined to talk to News 4 WOAI on camera. But he says the rope's an art piece by 85-year-old Hill Country artist James Cayton. He says it's titled "The National Political Necktie."

However, Derwyn Anderson says, “I don't see anything artistic about it. I only see death of a people. Fear factor. I'm really outraged."
(from WOAI-TV)

I don't know about you, but whenever I see a noose I always think about Tuco and Blondie.
[Tuco has captured Blondie and is planning to hang him]
Tuco: Get on that stool and put the rope around your neck. I have a different system, my friend; I don't shoot the rope, I shoot the legs from under the stool.
[Sound of distant rumbling]
Tuco: Even when Judas hanged himself there was thunder.
Man With No Name: That might be cannon fire.
Tuco: Thunder or cannon fire, it's all the same to you. Adios, Blondie.

Car crashes into house

And truancy is to blame!

A 14-year-old girl who police said skipped school crashed a car into the garage of a home Tuesday on the city's west side, police said.

No injuries were reported.


Officer Greg Hovis of the San Antonio Police Department said the girl took a friend's car for a joy ride, lost control and the car hit the structure in the 600 block of Matthews Avenue.

"She doesn't understand how she ended up there," Hovis said.
(from KSAT-12)

Hm. Could she have ended up there because of a lack of driving skills?

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Suspected burglar makes his capture super-easy"

Yes, sometimes the crooks make it easy for the cops. Too bad it's not all the time.
SAN ANTONIO -- Rafael Q. Sanchez is a burglary suspect who some might say just did not use his brain. An arrest warrant from the San Antonio Police Department said the 36-year-old broke into a downtown architectural firm, left his belongings in the building, and returned to the scene of the crime to reclaim them.
(from KENS-5)

One of the things he left behind -- a backpack with papers in it that identified him.

Digging up the dead

Some people have no respect -- for themselves or for others.
Police are looking for the person or persons who desecrated a grave and tampered with a corpse over the weekend.

The grave of Daniel Machado, who died in 1985, according to his grave marker, had his coffin ransacked and clothes from inside tossed around at the Loma China cemetery, a private facility on Zarzamora Road just outside Loop 410 on the city's south side.


[SAPD spokesman Joe] Rios said whomever is responsible faces a charge of abuse of a corpse, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

(from KSAT-12)

Of course, I guess it could have been these guys. If so, then how would they pay the fine?

UPDATE: This case has taken an even weirder turn, as KSAT reports:
Machado was 17 years old when he was struck by a truck. Family members said they had to collect donations in order to bury him, but his site has repeatedly been desecrated since then.

"The first time it happened, he was only buried like a week, and we found four black candles on each side of his headstone," said brother Preston Machado.

Police said they are investigating the latest incident, but have no leads as of yet. Family members said they also find dead animals and a lot of litter whenever they come by to clean the grave, including animals apparently used in voodoo ceremonies. Machado said the family would be visiting more frequently until more security measures are put into place.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Strange in 78250

There are always little odd things around San Antonio, and the ever-vigilant Dave spots them from time to time. Here are his latest pics.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Someone who definitely should have thought a little more

If you get in an argument with your girlfriend while on the road, it's not a good idea to interfere with her driving. You might end up on the losing end of the whole thing.
Joseph Tovar, 23, was not wearing a seat belt, police said.

Traffic investigators said they later learned that Tovar caused the crash. According to police, Tovar was having an argument with his girlfriend, who was driving the SUV, when Tovar allegedly reached over and pulled on the steering wheel.

Police said the car veered toward the right, and Tover's girlfriend overcorrected, causing the SUV to flip over.

"He was ejected from the vehicle and the vehicle rolled over him, killing him there at the scene," said Sgt. Joe Rios, with the San Antonio Police Department.
(from KSAT-12)

Thankfully, the others in the car are going to be OK.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Girl Scouts robbed as they sell cookies outside store"

Oh, this is just wrong. Somebody reeeaaalllly wants other people to think he's a bad man.
Two little girls and their troop leader were robbed outside a North Side store Wednesday night. The Brownie troop leader became emotional as she told News 4 WOAI how she witnessed the thief steal from the two 3rd graders.


"We were finishing up our shift and we were packing up our cookies," explained the girls' troop leader.

That troop leader, who doesn't want to be identified, said a man then walked up to their table.

"I didn't even think he was looking at the money," said told News 4 WOAI. "I thought he was leaning over to look in the box, like 'What do you have in there?'"

She said then all of a sudden, the man snatched their bag of money and ran off. He got away with about $250. The troop leader chased him, but he got into a car with a woman and drove off.
(from WOAI-TV)

What a winner. I bet his woman is proud of him.

UPDATE: The police have captured two suspects.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The wiener was in town!

And Alan at Blogonomicon got a good look at it!

That's one big hot dog.

"Illinois Man Charged With Defacing Alamo"

Taggers come in all stripes and have no respect.

SAN ANTONIO -- An Illinois man may not forget the Alamo after he faces charges of defacing the historic monument.

Stephen Henrey Wise, 44, of Evanston, Ill., has been charged with criminal mischief after allegedly writing three letters on a patch of limestone at the monument near the intersection of Avenue E and Houston Street.

(from KSAT-12)

Watch out, man. Ozzy got banned for this sort of thing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gambling in Universal City

The town of Universal City is already a suburb of San Antonio, and it even has its own casino!

Well, until recently, that is.
The 51-year-old woman was arrested and charged with running a sophisticated gambling operation outside her home last week, but it was an illegally parked vehicle that piqued investigators' interests, police said.

Denise Stewart, who lives at 604 Meadow Arbor Lane, was questioned by police who found out she was wanted on two outstanding warrants. During a subsequent search, officers found illegal drugs on her and she eventually admitted to keeping 15 8-liner machines inside her home, police said.
(from KSAT-12)

Do you think she had a full bar in there as well, or just beer and set-ups?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thank God for the Trouble Shooters

It must be sweeps month.

How do I know? Because the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters are letting nothing stand in the way of their investigation of that plane crash in New York. Not even the fact they they aren't in New York.

So, what have they found out? Here are their words ("News 4 Trouble Shooters Investigate Plane Crash"):
While investigators are still determining the cause of the crash in Buffalo, attention has turned to the airplane.

News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Brian Collister has been looking into the safety record of this plane.

The plane that crashed near Buffalo was new and had a clean safety record,

[sic] according to officials investigating the accident.

Whew. Thanks for clearing that up, WOAI. Now if we just had a board that could focus on transportation safety across the nation, perhaps we could get all aircraft accidents investigated properly.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crashing a motorcycle

Strange events unfolded following an accident on Fredericksburg Road.
According to police, a man and a woman on a motorcycle struck an 18-wheel beer truck on the northbound lanes of Fredericksburg Road between Oaklawn and Loop 410. The man laid the bike down, but the woman was apparently run over by the beer truck, police said.

She was taken to University Hospital in critical condition.

Witnesses said the man driving the motorcycle then started shouting for his gun, found his gun and threatened the beer truck driver. The driver of the big rig took off, witnesses said, and the motorcyclist allegedly threatened witnesses and himself, but did not fire any shots. San Antonio police did not confirm any of the witness reports, only saying they were investigating the collision as a traffic incident.

The motorcyclist was taken to an unknown hospital with unknown injuries. The driver of the beer truck returned to the scene and spoke with investigators.
(from KSAT-12)

If you were caught in traffic on Fred Road today, this is probably why.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chasing client robbers

Remember Diana Minella, the lady who told clients she would take care of their traffic tickets, but instead she just took their money?

The WOAI Trouble Shooters literally chased her down in the street.

It must be sweeps month.

Seymour Perkins has died

Remember odd, strange Seymour Perkins?

He has died.

Elaine Ayo at the Express-News recalls his controversial life:

Perkins, 78, an eccentric self-taught artist who earned a national reputation among collectors of so-called "outsider" art, died Tuesday night at a local hospital, said Carlos Richardson, president of the Denver Heights Neighborhood Association.

It was a reputation almost unnoticed amid the controversies surrounding his house. City officials and some neighbors had called the house a haven for criminal activity and a dangerous, dilapidated building that needed to be torn down.

But supporters of Perkins called it a priceless piece of San Antonio culture that just needed to be cleaned up. Perkins’ case now sits in the 4th Court of Appeals, more than a year after a city board voted to demolish the house.

Its walls had been adorned with paintings and drawings, but these works were lost when the house was damaged in an October (2008) fire. A November 1997 fire destroyed the initial stages of the museum Perkins was dedicating to his slain daughter, Debbie Jo.

R.I.P Perkins.

(E-N slideshow here. Earlier Strange stuff here.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Car crashes into movie theater

On purpose!
SAN ANTONIO -- Thieves crashed through a movie theater early Tuesday morning in an attempt to take off with an ATM.

The would-be theft happened at the Rialto Theater off of Loop 410 and IH-35 on the Northeast Side.

The driver of the Suburban crashed the SUV through the door and then through the lobby area, leaving tire tracks on the floor.


A member of the cleaning crew told News 4 WOAI he saw everything. He after [sic] the SUV crashed into the theater, he asked the driver of the SUV what happened. He didn't get a response from the driver, who then sped off and crashed through another part of the building to get out. The driver then hit another ATM that was in the parking lot of the theater, but was unable to get any cash out of it, either.
(from WOAI-TV)


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Someone who should relax a little more

If you can't stand the hit, stay out of the mosh pit.

Or at least keep your girlfriend out.

A man upset that his girlfriend was roughed up in a “mosh pit” shot a man who allegedly pushed the woman at a punk rock show near downtown early Saturday morning, authorities said.

The incident happened after the show at about 1:30 a.m., outside the Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar at Avenue B and East Jones Avenue.

According to a police report, the suspect drove up outside the club to say something to the victim about him pushing the girlfriend in the pit. Witnesses told police the victim apologized to the woman for the incident and then walked away, but the suspect continued to argue about the incident.

“I already apologized to her,” the man told the suspect, according to the police report. “What more do you want?”

As the car was driving off, the suspect fired out of a car window, striking the other man, who collapsed in the street.

(from the Express-News)

The victim is in critical condition. I hope he pulls through, and I hope the shooter finds a new perspective on life.


Does anyone out there know what this piece of equipment is?

I assume its some kind of machine for pouring concrete or asphalt because it is in a road construction zone and it's called an "Easi-Pour." Whatever it is, it looks kind of strange. And it's at least 16 years old. Can any locals spot why I know this?

Mailing drugs

Let's say your husband is in jail. And let's say he's dying for some heroin. What should you do?

Hm. Mail it to him, maybe?
Two cousins are accused of mailing heroin to one's incarcerated husband in San Antonio.

The U.S. Marshal's Service says the packages were intercepted.

Officers on Friday arrested 26-year-old Monica Ramos of Von Ormy and 20-year-old April Villarreal of San Antonio.

Both were indicted Wednesday on two counts of distribution of heroin and possession of heroin. The 33-year-old inmate, Noe Martinez, is married to Ramos.
(from KSAT-12)

Yeah, I think the U.S. Postal Service frowns on that kind of mail.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Car crashes into house

A Jimmy takes on Jim's house, with predictable results.
Jim Wheeler said he was walking through his home when he heard tires squealing. Seconds later, his house shook and glass flew everywhere. "I didn't see the whole thing, but I was standing about 2 feet from that wall two minutes earlier,” he said.

The GMC Jimmy jumped the curb, hit a sign and sped across the back yard before smashing into the house, police said. It came to a rest on Wheeler’s bed.

Wheeler said he knows what would have happened had anyone been in the bed at the time. "They would have been dead,” he said.
(from KSAT-12 -- video here)

No word on the fates of any fences.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

PETA protests with a shower

Two women representing the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were part of a protest focusing on the bare essentials.

The demonstration in front of the Alamo was an effort to encourage [sic] people from eating meat, and used a nearly-nude woman in a portable shower to explain how the water used to prepare one pound of meat is the equivalent to six months of showers.
(from WOAI-TV)

Now, can the Texas Beef Council do the same thing with a hottie showering and explaining how much water is used to grow plants?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

"Girl on Girl Kiss Leads to Arrests"

Lesbians in the mall? A kiss might get some attention.

Now that you've got the attention, try not fighting with a deputy.
Just a day after Christmas the two 22-year-olds came to Rolling Oaks Mall. One of the girls was Jessica Garcia. Her attorney says she was sitting on a bench inside the mall with her girlfriend's legs resting on her own legs. Garcia’s girlfriend then gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Mall security and a Bexar County deputy saw the kiss and asked the two girls to leave for violating the mall's code of conduct. Garcia’s attorney says if the couple was heterosexual there wouldn't have been a problem and a kiss on the cheek certainly isn't offensive to reasonable people.

The other side of the story News 4 WOAI got from the arrest reports reads a little different. It says the two were making out and after the couple was asked to leave they came back inside the mall and the two sides began to argue. The arrest report says the girls were yelling profanities at the officers.

It ended with both girls under arrest and Garcia thrown to the ground.
(from WOAI-TV)

And here's an excerpt from a statement the mall management gave:
You will find that the women were not arrested for kissing at the mall. Rather, their aggressive behavior led to their arrest and resulted in the pending criminal charges. The women refused to comply after they had been warned about their disruptive behavior. They began using profanity with the officers and subsequently were asked to leave the mall. Unfortunately, they decided to re-enter the mall and upon being approached by a Bexar County Sheriff's Deputy and mall security, the women became physically combative and verbally abusive.
Now you have both sides of the story. Kissing or making out? Would they have been ejected regardless of their orientation had the making out been heavy enough? Should they have gone back inside to argue their point or just gone home?

You make the call.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009


What do you think, art or sign?

The Stone Oak Property Owners Association doesn't like it, no matter what it is.

A sculpture of an oversized fork recently installed outside two new Stone Oak restaurants has drawn the ire of the local property owners association.

The Vatel Restaurant Group didn't have permission to install the giant aluminum fork on its property at 20626 Stone Oak Parkway, and now must either remove it or relocate it to a spot not easily seen from the road, said the Stone Oak Property Owners Association.

The flap over the big fork: Its owner has deemed it a work of art; the POA has deemed it advertising, a sign that screams “Eat here.”

It's a lovely piece of work, but it's a sign,” said Sandy Whitley, chairwoman of the Stone Oak Architectural Review Committee. “If you allow something like that, there's nothing to prohibit a Shoney's Big Boy. That's the problem.”

Were the sculpture of anything else, there likely wouldn't be a problem with it, Whitley said. [emphases added]

(from Jennifer Hiller of the Express-News)

I think the property owners association is being a bit of a stick in the mud here. That fork is obviously a piece of art, even if it is advertising a restaurant. And what kind of argument is it to say if the sculpture were "of anything else, there likely wouldn't be a problem"?

Really? Anything? What about a nude woman (as long as it isn't in Diane Cibrian's district)? Or a zombie eating brains? Or a giant garden gnome? Or anything by Picasso? Are all these really preferable to a tasteful, if odd, work of art that might also be construed as drawing attention to the business it is installed in front of?

I think not. The fork is fine, and it should be left where it is. It will give the place some character, and it may even draw people out there (to spend money, perhaps, at area restaurants and shops) who might not otherwise brave the traffic of North Loop 1604.

Stone Oak should be glad for the fork.