Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's Halloween in San Antonio. Time for some scary stories.

Thankfully, the Express-News has a good roundup of goosebump-rendering stories that get told and retold in the Alamo City, including such classics as Midget Mansion, the Donkey Lady, La Llorona, the chicken-footed man in the dance hall (which I remember being called El Cameroncito, or something like that), and, of course, the thoroughly discredited yet widely believed tale of the ghost children at the railroad tracks.

Read and enjoy. And have a great Halloween!

Clumsy robber

Sometimes the bad guys make it so easy for the cops.

Police say Michael Kern, 18, was one of three men who attempted to rob a man at knifepoint Oct. 24 at an apartment complex in the 8700 block of Fredericksburg Road.

The victim said he was walking his dog when Kern and two others approached and repeatedly asked for the time, the affidavit says. One of the other men pulled a knife on the victim, who started running.

Investigators discovered Kern’s wallet on the ground next to a vehicle. The victim saw the photo and said, “That’s him,” identifying Kern.

(from the Express-News)


This time, it's near Houston! (Of course, there's passing mention of chupacabra sightings around here.)

SPRING, Texas—Paul Stuart drives down Gosling Road near Woodlands Parkway almost every day, but it’s not every day that he encounters a legendary beast. But Stuart says it happened, and it was so unbelievable that he immediately pulled out his video camera and began to record.

“When I rolled down the window and looked at it, it was very unusual,” he said. “Boys, that’s a chupacabra right there.”


But what makes Stuart’s story unique is that chupacabra sightings usually happen in Mexico or other parts of Texas—not here in the Houston area.

“This rare sighting certainly resembles what other people report as being a chupacabra,” said Stuart.

Keith Crenshaw, an urban biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said there is no such thing as a chupacabra. After viewing Stuart’s video, he said he knew exactly what the unusual animal was.

“It’s a coyote. It’s a coyote. No doubt,” said Crenshaw.

Crenshaw said the coyote had a very serious case of mange, and proper authorities need to be alerted.

(from KENS-5)

And the chupacabra was quoted as saying: I'z in ur state, xpandin mah reech.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lyin' about the chupacabra

Alan at Blogonomicon watches a History channel show about a wolf-like beast from Eighteenth Century France, and he's disgusted. He even turns the show off halfway through. But, the important thing is that there is a San Antonio connection in the show (and you knew there had to be one)! Unfortunately, though, the guy from the Alamo City is a bit of an embarrassment.

The two guys on this show were some alleged cryptozoologist from San Antonio and a police profiler from somewhere else.

My first complaint: their conversations were obviously scripted. Either that, or they both have the most monotonous and un-modulated voices I have ever heard.

But the big complaint, and the one which made me turn it off and give up before even the 30-minute mark, was a blatant lie.

The so-called crypto guy was trying to show the police guy that some odd creatures may be out there, so he used some search engine (not Google) to hunt down the Cuero "chupacabra." He gave the police guy a brief synopsis of the case, and then said something like, "scientists still have not been able to determine what it was."

False. False false false false false.
Alan's right. That was a coyote, possibly a coyote/wolf mix, that the woman in Cuero found and was trying to insist that it might be a chupacabra. But of course no amount of DNA tests are ever going to convince someone who wants to believe in chupacabras to consider another possibility. So, we get guys like that on the History channel shows.

By the way, whatever happened to the History channel? They used to have such cool shows about actual history. Nowadays we seem to keep getting weird stuff from those guys. Oh well, there's still the Military History channel.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Crucible?

Modern-day cult, or modern-day witch hunt?
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Rosseau teaches middle school "science, keyboarding, and bible classes at a local Christian-based school. The affidavit states that a third teen reported she was asked by two other girls to join a 'secret society' call the "Order" which was based on the occult, magic, Freemasonry, and Christianity. The girl was told by the pair that to be a member of the society, she would have to be 'intimate' with the director, identified as Rosseau, in order to establish trust.

The girl said she met with Rosseau at the home of one of the other girls but refused to join the group. She was reportedly later told that Rosseau was receiving pressure from his superiors to have her submit to him.

Police were informed about the incidences after the girl got into an argument with classmates at school about revealing that Rosseau might be having sex with the two other girls. After police were told the girl had been in contact with Rosseau through computer chat room emails, police obtained permission from the girl's family to collect her home computer.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, both of the other two girls initially denied having sex with Rosseau as well as the existence of the 'Order' when questioned by police. However, one of the girls later told her parents and police that she had been engaged in a sexual relationship with Rosseau for 10 months. She said she too had been recruited into the 'Order' by a friend and was told she should demonstrate her trust and strict adherence to the society by having sex with Rosseau. She told police that the friend who had recruited her had been having sex with Rosseau since 2007.

(from WOAI-TV)

I'm not sure what to think.

Gettin' Pee-wee in Von Ormy

Von Ormy, Bexar County's newest little town (pop. 1,300), is apparently big enough to support an adult theater. And at least one constable is reported to be an enthusiastic fan.
The three men, 73-year-old Lee Roy Tondre, 54-year-old Jose Terrasas, and 47-year-old Donald Allison, were arrested at the Twin Theatre in the 12,000 block of Fischer Road in Von Ormy after undercover deputies reportedly found them masturbating inside one of the theaters.

According to deputies, Terrases is the Reserve Chief Deputy Constable Precinct #2.

(from WOAI-TV)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Prized Angora Rabbits Killed"

Bad day to be a rabbit in San Antonio.
Lupita Rocha is bracing for what she has to tell her brother when Pedro Gonzalez returns from out of town on Sunday. Six of his 14 beloved Angora rabbits were stabbed to death, according to San Antonio Police. A seventh will survive, but because of its other injuries, Rocha said a veterinarian has told her it is now paralyzed.

Rocha also said she was told that rabbit’s terrified prize-winning mate died of a heart attack.

“Who, who would do this?” said Rocha outside her brother’s mobile home in the 7600 block of W. Military Drive. “I can’t believe there are people out there who would brutally murder, I mean, stab them.”

(from KSAT-12)

Oops. She let the mask slip a little bit there.

And how can one determine that a rabbit has died of a heart attack? I suppose a veterinarian could figure that out, but to what end, besides tugging on the heart strings of readers? It's a sad thing that somebody killed all the Rocha's rabbits, but let's not take the anthropomorphizing too far.

Oh, and would this be a bad time to mention how much I love rabbit stew?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A dedicated employee

Certainly an odd situation, and an even odder response to it.

One man fought more than traffic on his way to work Thursday.

He says he was driving his green Cadillac near Hwy. 90 and Military Dr. when someone started shooting at him.

Four bullets hit the car, and although shots grazed his head and chin, he kept right on driving to work.

The man says he didn't do anything to provoke the shooter.

Police don't have much to go on in the case. They do know that the accused gunman was driving a black Impala.

(from KENS-5)

He probably didn't have any sick time or vacation time left, so he had to go to work, bullet wounds or no bullet wounds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Practicing religion

If you stop by your neighborhood bakery, and your baker displays a few hooves and animal skins, you might want to ask him if he can cure cancer. He might say yes. But I don't suggest you ask him to actually cure whatever disease afflicts you, at least not without consulting your doctor (regular, not witch) first.

WOAI reports on just such a man here in San Antonio.
We spotted several birds, a dog and turtle behind the West Side building. We also saw where animals had clearly been killed and left outside.

When News 4 WOAI asked Jesse Mercado, the owner of Celia’s Bakery, about what was going on, he explained “this is part of the religion, you need to eat the animals, you need to eat it."

Mercado says the religion is called Yoruba, and it's similar to voodoo. When we were out there, he demonstrated some of the rituals that are part of his religion.

He told us he’s “capable to cure anybody with cancer, any disease."

Mercado practices in the building next to the bakery. And inside that building a cat head.

However, Mercado says, "I don't have nothing to do with cat."
(from WOAI-TV; slideshow here)

Sure you don't have nothing to do with cat. Just the cat head. Makes for a good bakery decoration, I bet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A thief who should have thought a little more

If you steal someone's trailer, and you find out there's a professional race car inside of it, you might want to consider that the car might be difficult to drive around in without drawing attention. So you might leave it behind. But, if you do decide to take the race car, and even if you think it would be a good idea to hide it so you can keep it, you might do well to stash it someplace away from where you grow all your pot.

Police say it started this weekend when they recovered a stolen trailer on W.W. White. Police contacted the owner, who is a professional race car driver. He asked if his racing car was still in the back of the trailer. It was not.

Police say through their investigation, they identified a person of interest. On Tuesday, the department flew its Eagle Helicopter to search for the car. It was located in the backyard of a house on Tucker.

The suspect had an outstanding warrant so he was immediately arrested. Police the suspect's mother also lives at the house, and gave consent to search. That's when detectives found an addition to the house in the back. Inside they said it was like a greenhouse for growing marijuana plants.

(from KENS-5)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Car crashes into house

No fences were hit in the attack, but a fire hydrant and a tree did not come out so well.

SAN ANTONIO - Police tell News 4 WOAI the driver of an SUV lost control and crashed into a home on Craig Street near downtown. The driver not only took out the porch, but a fire hydrant and a tree as well.

We're told he was arrested on an outstanding warrant, but will also face drunk driving charges for this crash.

(from WOAI-TV)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Switching Bushes

I know KSAT-12 is no longer displaying the graphic I saw that illustrated their teaser for the coming visit of former president Bush and current president Obama to Texas A&M University (their current story treats the event in past tense, of course). So, I grabbed a screen capture.

Come on. You would think anybody by now -- especially news people -- will have learned to distinguish between George H.W. Bush, the father, and George W. Bush, the son. After all, they really have no trouble telling the Clintons apart, do they?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free hugs, revisited

Remember the free huggers? They came back.
Students from a local hairstyling school handed out a special treat to visitors in Alamo Plaza on Wednesday ... free hugs.

“I think they are a little freaked out like, 'Why are people out there giving hugs?'" said Angelica Martinez of Paul Mitchell The School said.

Martinez said the reason for the hugs was to promote niceness in the world.
(from KSAT-12)

At least they are a little more realistic this time. In 2007, they were trying to achieve world peace. A bit of niceness is somewhat easier to attain.

Toilet Seat Museum, revisited

Remember the Toilet Seat Museum? Well, Barney Smith is still around, making his art. And now a travel website has rated his collection as the "wackiest" in the nation.
The Alamo may attract millions of Arizona visitors each year, but a little museum in Alamo Heights ranks higher than both of them when it comes to off-the-wall attractions., a popular online travel community, has just named Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum the Wackiest Attraction in America. The museum is located in Smith's garage.
(from KSAT-12. video here.)

Get ready for more tourists, San Antonio!

By the way, they're toilet lids, not seats.

As if that might make a difference.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time traveling in San Antonio

The thought of kids dropping out of school makes for a sad story, but the argument must be made: If they have the power to travel into the future, then what do they need to be in school for anyway?
The San Antonio and Edgewood school districts are teaming up to keep eighth-graders in school.

District officials said too many older middle school students are dropping out of high school and [are] then challenged with finding a decent-paying job.
(from KSAT-12)

"... too many older middle school students are dropping out of high school ..."

Well, they can't drop out of high school until they get there first. Right? So then they wouldn't be middle school students, would they? The only explanation is that they must be middle school students who have powers that allow them to travel into the future and be high school students simultaneously. Which would be a pretty awesome superpower to have (though not quite as cool as the ability to stick to walls or to use metal claws that extrude from your hands), and anyone with abilities like that should probably be given a pass on their grades. Shouldn't they?

In any case, those kids better get back into school. Or else the mayor is going to be knocking on their doors.

Monday, October 12, 2009

With names like "Kaos" and "Trix" ...

... you're almost destined for a life of crime.

Of course, if you don't want to get caught, you probably shouldn't try your tricksy ways on someone you know who is more than willing to not cooperate with you.
A pair of unusual nicknames backfired on two burglary suspects who allegedly invaded a southeast-side home over the weekend, police say.

According to an arrest warrant, the victim recognized the suspects who beat, stabbed and stole electronics [sic. Poor electronics.] from his southeast side home early Friday morning. He said he knew the pair as "Kaos" and "Trix."

The victim had one of the suspect's phone numbers on Caller ID, police say. The other intruder had done house work for his father.

San Antonio police were able to use the nicknames and the phone number to arrest the two men on Sunday. Ernest "Kaos" Alcoser and Thomas "Trix" DeLeon were booked into the Bexar County Detention Center on burglary charges.


An arrest warrant said the 25-year-old wanted a man in the 500 block of Kashmuir Place to buy a gun for him. According to the document, the victim refused. Police said two hours later, Alcoser and 27-year-old DeLeon broke into the victim's home. They reportedly attacked the man in his bed sometime after 2 a.m.


According to the warrant, due to the victim's familiarity with the suspects, tracking them down was not difficult.
(from KENS-5)

Sometimes they make it easy for the cops.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"77-Year-Old Woman Beaten at Senior Home"

By this imp?

Janice Maier was taken to University Hospital, where KSAT 12 News learned that was in poor condition after suffering from head trauma where the man allegedly kicked her several times.

Daniel Villareal, 22, is suspected of committing the beating.

Police said Villareal snuck into the Clare Bridge Homestyle Senior Living Facility through a back door early Saturday morning. According to police, he hid from security and then went into Maier’s room and began beating her.


Villareal was arrested Saturday morning. He told police he was looking for a “lady to choke” because he was mad at life.
(from KSAT-12)

Man. Talk about a Napoleon complex.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Looking for a cause of death

A woman has a car accident, and then she dies. And officials are not sure why.
It happened just before 8 a.m. Friday at Huebner Rd. and USAA Blvd. A witness said Alyson Hahnel tried to pass a Chevy Blazer on Huebner and apparently lost control of her vehicle. She veered right onto rain-slick USAA Blvd., careened from the center median, and into some trees.

About an hour later, she was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital.

SAPD Officer Richard Casillas noted “[t]here was no visible damage inside [the vehicle] to indicate that the driver … suffered any injuries form the impact into the tree.”
(from WOAI-TV)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Strange in San Antonio, so long ago

On San Antonio Remembers, this interesting item was listed on the October 8 entry:
City Council issues decree requiring old soldiers of Santa Anna's disbanded army to either give proof of respectable occupation or leave the city.
OK, fine. You guys don't have to go home, now that we defeated your army. But you do have to get a good job and earn a decent living, dammit!

Smokin' up the joint

Are you mad at your probation officer? If so, you could do better than what this guy did.

San Antonio police are looking for a man who threw two smoke flares at a receptionist Thursday morning inside a downtown building that houses several Bexar County offices.

Employees in the three-story Heritage Plaza building in the 400 block of South Main Street were evacuated for about an hour after the 9:30 a.m. incident, said Arson Detective Jose Salame of the San Antonio Fire Department.

A receptionist for Elite Consulting, a service provider for Bexar County's adult probation department on the building's second floor, told authorities she heard the man pull the ignition strings on the smoke flares, but didn't see his face, according to county spokeswoman Laura Jesse.


Authorities believe the man who threw the flares is a client of the service provider.

Salame said the suspect wrote “zero tolerance” on one of the flares.
(from the Express-News)

No one was hurt in the attack, but apparently the place got quite smoky. And, of course, smoking in the workplace is really frowned upon these days.

"Bus stop fight sends two men to the hospital"

Let's say you're driving down the road. And then you see a guy you got into a fight with not too long ago, and this guy is just sitting at a bus stop minding his own business. Are you the kind of person who would actually pull over to fight him again?

Maybe you aren't, but there are some people like that out there.
The fight happened at a bus stop near the Shell gas station on Fair Avenue near IH-37 around 5:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say a man driving by saw someone he had fought with 6 months ago sitting at the bus stop. The man stopped, and the two got into a fight again. One of them pulled out a knife during the fight.
(from WOAI-TV)

Apparently they're both in the hospital over this. No immediate word on their conditions.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Someone who should reconsider his methods

After reading this story, I think maybe I just have a different idea of what it means to better yourself.
SAN ANTONIO – A man who said he was "sorry" and “…just trying to better himself” was arrested by police on Tuesday.

At 2:55 a.m., an alarm went off at the San Antonio Police and Fire Fund Building at 311 Roosevelt, just south of Downtown. Minutes later, Richard Thomas Alvarez was detained by officers investigating another nearby call.

Investigators say they found several items from the building on Alvarez. According to the police report, these included a laptop-computer bag, digital camera, and cell phone.
(from WOAI-TV)

Hm. Education. Hard work. Enlightenment. Consideration for your fellow man. How silly of me to think those things could make you a better person. Instead, it's stolen electronics.

Imagine that.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Police find dead man's body at Cibolo home after alleged sexual assault"

Strange goings-on in the town of Cibolo:
Police found a dead body outside a Cibolo home after getting reports of a sexual assault at the residence, officials say.

Police responded to a house in the 3800 block of Green Valley around 2 a.m. They found the dead body of a white male lying next to a truck. There were no apparent signs of trauma on his body.

Officials say the woman who reported the assault ran from the home where the body was found and called police from a neighbor's house. Police say she also reported shots fired during her call.

SWAT was called in to clear the home, and they did find a man inside the house. But while officials say that man is not a suspect, police are questioning him.
(from KENS-5)

A call for sexual assault. Fleeing. Shots reported. A dead body. No signs of trauma. SWAT called. One man found and being questioned, but not a suspect.

I'm curious to see what comes of this.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Showin' off the paint

A man takes on the weather.
Michael Robinson said he didn't think the turnaround at Badger Street and Cardiff Avenue was impassable because the water level wasn't over the guardrail. However, he was mistaken. Robinson's car stalled in high water Sunday afternoon after he attempted to drive through it.
(from KSAT-12)

Nor did he think his paint job was too garish for the streets.

Of course, I'm one to talk. I actually drove an orange car once. Once.

A criminal who should have thought a little more

If you have multiple arrest warrants out in your name, you might want to think twice before creating a Facebook page. And then you might think again before posting where you're going to be.
Members of the San Antonio Police Department's Tactical Response Unit showed up at the Mink Ultra Club in the 900 block of Bitters Road Friday night and took 21-year-old Eric Daniel Dishong into custody.

Police said Dishong was wanted for three different outstanding arrest warrants for theft of a firearm, burglary of a vehicle and theft under $50.


Officers may have learned about Dishong's whereabouts Friday night through a posting he put on his Facebook page. The page mentioned an early birthday party he was having at the club.
(from KSAT-12)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

"Kanye West and Lady Gaga tour canceled"


Someone who should have thought a little more

If you're looking to score a few quick bucks, you could do worse than armed robbery of your own grandmother.

Ah, who am I kidding. You couldn't do worse. Robbing your grandma is about as low as you can go.

Brian Keith Grunewald has been accused of robbing his own grandmother with a shotgun, deputies say.

According to an arrest warrant, the 33-year-old used the weapon to force the elderly woman to write him a $350 check last week. But the check did not turn into cash as he anticipated. Instead, it landed him behind bars on an aggravated robbery charge.

The warrant said Grunewald wanted money from his 77-year-old grandmother. He reportedly urged her to write him a check. The arrest document said when she refused, her grandson became irate.

According to Bexar County Sheriff's deputies, he continued to demand the check. Investigators said he went to his bedroom in the home he shares with the victim in the 8200 block of Gardner and got a shotgun.

(from KENS-5)

And then he forced her to write a check. And then he tried to cash it. Ultimately, he wasn't successful, and he was eventually caught by sheriff's deputies, but he has forever alienated himself from family reunions and skeet shoots.