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KRLD 1080 - Texas
School Violence & Mental Health Connection May Not Be As Significant As Lawmakers Believe
By: Chris Fox
AUSTIN (KRLD) - Shortly after the school shooting at Santa Fe High School, Governor Abbott held roundtable discussions on school safety. One of his top conclusions was that early intervention was essential in Texas schools especially as it concerns mental health.
“It’s also agreed upon that we need more prevention counselors and intervention counselors. We also need better access to mental health providers for students.”
State Senate members of the Violence in Schools & School Security, Select Committee heard testimony from prominent Texas Doctors that the mental health angle may not be the best way to go in addressing school safety.
Dr. Clifford Moy of the Texas Medical Association explained how identifying the mentally ill students won’t necessarily put an end to school shootings.
“FBI studies indicate that most of those involved in mass shootings have not been diagnosed with mental illness but were reported to have experienced multiple stressers and/or demonstrated concerning behaviors.”
Moy told lawmakers prolonged stress becomes toxic stress and that can result in violent behavior.
“Research indicates continuous access to a trusted adult in childhood may dramatically reduce the impact of childhood adversity on mental well-being and adoption of unhealthy behaviors.”
Dr. Jeff Temple is a professor at UTMB and the vice President of the Galveston I-S-D Board of Trustees. He supported Dr. Moy’s position.
“Mental health is often looked at as the ‘Boogie-Man’ in these cases, when in reality folks with psychiatric illness, be they adolescents or adults, are way more likely to hurt themselves or be hurt by other people than hurt anyone else.”
Temple also quashed other assertions that school violence was causing video games, or violence in movies or TV.
“There’s really good evidence that it’s not violent media…that it’s not this social media…That it’s not violent video games or film or music. We actually have really good evidence that it’s a few factors. One is the psyche of social isolation; this idea of experienced adverse childhood events…and a history of abuse towards women.”
Temple’s final advice to the committee was that we should not be looking for strategies to identify the next school shooter.
"We should be identifying strategies to look for the kids who need help.”
Arrest Made In Attack Of Fort Worth Girl, 12
FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - An arrest is made in the April 19 attack of a Fort Worth girl as she was walking to her school bus stop.
Terry Wayne King II, 35, was arrested April 17 in Oklahoma City.
Detective Pat Henz says the attack appears to be random and that there’s no prior connection between King and the girl.
“He just lived in the neighborhood and, for whatever reason, chose to attack this young girl on her way to school,” says Det. Pat Henz.
Investigators have been unable to establish any motive for the attack.
“If it was gang-related, if it was . . . random, if it was trafficking, of it was just sexual in nature — we have no indication that it was any of those,” says Det. Henz.
Fort Worth Police are in the process of extraditing King back to Tarrant County.
“We drove up there,” says Det. Henz. “We did interview him. We got the information that makes us very confident that he did cause this.”
The girl and her family are refugees from the Republic of Congo.
Her father, Twizere Buhinja, says King called out to his daughter.
12-year-old girl’s father says she needs a heart transplant as a result of the assault. pic.twitter.com/Dpr0oCaBoR— Andrew M. Greenstein (@KRLDAndrewG) July 18, 2018
“He told my daughter he needed help,” Buhinja says. “My daughter said, ‘Now I’m going to school,’ (to which King replied), ‘I know, (but) will you help?’”
He says shortly after that, King grabbed his daughter by the arm and throat and attacked her.
The girl remains hospitalized in serious condition.
She was perfectly healthy before the attack, but not anymore.
“The heart is not working good, and her lungs are not working,” says Buhinja. “We’re waiting for a heart transplant.”
Woman Jailed After Using Child As Shield Following Attempted Bank Robbery
MURPHY (KRLD) - A woman is in custody after a shocking bank robbery attempt in Collin County.
Murphy police say a woman walked into a Bank of America and pulled out a can of gas and started spilling it all over the floor. She threatened to light the place on fire if she didn't get money.
When police got to the scene, they tried to subdue the woman outside the bank with the use of a tazer and pepper spray. That didn't work and police say she ran to a vehicle and pulled a baby from a car, using it as a shield from police.
Police say an officer snuck up behind the woman and bear hugged her so an arrest could be made without hurting the baby.
The woman eventually surrendered, and the child was taken to Children's Medical Center to be evaluated.
No one was injured in the attempted robbery.
Texas Murder Suspect Violated Probation But Wasn't Sought
DALLAS (AP) — Authorities didn't search for a Texas man who cut off his ankle monitor in violation of parole terms until a week later when he was linked to a violent rampage that included three shooting deaths over four days, according to state and county officials.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 46, was among more than 500 parolees with a violent history living in the Houston area and facing an active arrest warrant for violating terms of parole. Rodriguez removed his ankle monitor on July 5, more than a week before authorities believe he fatally shot three Houston-area people.
Department spokesman Jeremy Desel said neither the agency nor parole officers have the authority to arrest someone, so when authorities learned Rodriguez had tampered with his monitor a warrant was issued for other agencies, such as the Harris County sheriff's office, to arrest him.
But deputies don't necessarily search for parolees who have violated their terms of release and would only arrest those offenders they come across during the course of a patrol and run a background check, according to Harris County senior deputy Thomas Gilliland.
"He was, quite frankly, just another person who was a parole violator," Gilliland said of Rodriguez.
There are approximately 84,000 parolees living in Texas and about 18,000 of them live in the greater Houston area, with about 1,200 monitored by GPS or electronic monitoring, according to the criminal justice department.
"These sorts of devices go off all the time," Desel said. "You can get an alert because the strap is twisted or get alerted because the person is playing soccer or doing some other activity."
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo expressed frustration at a Tuesday news conference with the low bonds, if any, that were being ordered for violent criminals who violate paroles in the Houston area and across Texas. He promised to create a task force of law enforcement agencies in Harris County to recommend to the Texas Legislature changes to tighten the system. For instance, Acevedo wants police to be authorized to search all parolees they encounter for drugs and weapons.
Acevedo spoke hours after Rodriguez was arrested while driving a car belonging to 57-year-old Edward Magana, an employee of a Houston mattress store who was shot dead Monday. Rodriguez also is accused in the deaths of Pamela Johnson, 62, who was found Friday in her Cypress-area home, and Allie Barrow, 28, found dead Saturday inside another Houston mattress store.
Rodriguez also is a suspect in the robbery, shooting and wounding of a Metro bus driver on Monday and two home invasion robberies, investigators said. It's believed a handgun found in the car Rodriguez was driving when he was arrested was used in at least two of the killings, Gilliland said Wednesday.
Rodriguez is being held without bond on two counts of capital murder. Online jail records don't indicate whether he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Gilliland declined to speculate on a motive but said the killings appeared to be "crimes of opportunity." The parolee's actions were consistent with criminals searching for "soft targets" such as smaller stores with minimal customer traffic and only one or two employees.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez earlier referred to Rodriguez as a "suspected serial killer" but Gilliland said at this point in the investigation he's not a suspect in any other deaths.
Rodriguez's criminal history dates back to at least 1989 when he was charged with a variety of offenses that include attempted aggravated sexual abuse, burglary and auto theft. He spent decades in state prison and while there was convicted of possession of a deadly weapon. He was released on parole in September after having completed a pre-release sex offender program.
Desel said he had no compliance issues in the months after his release, having registered as a sex offender, submitting to a polygraph examination and reporting to his parole officer as required.
Gilliland said it's not clear why Rodriguez went on a violent rampage after complying with the terms of his parole for months. But the deputy said Rodriguez's actions followed a pattern.
"As criminals continue to be more bold and more aggressive, they tend to become more violent," he said. "That's when you have someone you really need to find and get them off the streets."
Follow David Warren on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarrenJourno .
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Big Change Coming To DFW Airport Curbs
DFW AIRPORT (1080 KRLD) - When picking someone up at DFW Airport, there’s an important change you’ll need to be aware of, starting in September.
“We are no longer going to allow people to remain in their cars on the curbs,” says Sean Donohue, DFW Airport CEO. “Effective September 8th, it will be active loading and unloading only at all of our curbsides.”
Donohue says the change is due to the fact that the curbs are becoming too crowded.
“Because the baggage claim devices and the ticket counters are both located on the upper level at four of the five terminals, what happens is we get a lot of traffic on the upper level.
“If you couple that in the last couple years with the explosion of the app-based ride share — the Ubers, the Lyfts of the world — and the fact that our traffic continued to grow at this airport . . . you put that all together, and our curbsides are just becoming saturated,” Donohue says.
And that’s creating a safety issue.
“Because the curbs are so busy, we are now seeing people loading and unloading in the second and third lanes on the curb,” says Donohue.
To accommodate the change, the airport is adding additional short-term parking in the garages.
“We’re going to add 1200 spots in the parking garages that are for one- and two-hour parking,” Donohue says.
Starting September 8th, officers will be on hand to enforce the new policy.
“We’re not going to be out there saying we’re going to write you a ticket,” Donohue says. “We’re just going to say move on (and) show them where to park in the garages.”
Deer Breeders Hit By Hurricane Harvey Asking State For Better Emergency Plan
By: Chris Fox
AUSTIN (KRLD) - Texas deer breeders devastated by Hurricane Harvey are asking for the State to develop an emergency plan to help them survive the next big storm.
Patrick Tarlton is the executive director of the Texas Deer Association. He told State House members at the Capitol for the Texas deer industry Hurricane Harvey represented an unprecedented natural event. “Over the case of a few weeks many facilities experienced unparalleled death loss, unexpected displacement of animals and catastrophic facility damage.” The problem got even worse after the storms when many of the deer died of EHD and pneumonia. Like most in the area, Tarlton said the deer farmers were also caught off guard. “The industry was caught very largely unprepared and we didn’t have the means to a formal response plan for producers to look at and know exactly what to do.”
Tarlton said they’re willing to work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Animal Health Commission to establish of an emergency plan. “If we had a plan knowing OK the next Harvey is coming, you would see producers moving animals all over the state maybe a month in advance…three weeks in advance…something like that.”
Dallas Police Looking For Missing Child
UPDATE: (12:31 p.m.) Oscar has been located and is safe, according to an update from Dallas police.
DALLAS (KRLD) - Dallas police need your help locating a 9-year-old boy who has been missing since Tuesday afternoon.
Oscar Briceno was last seen early yesterday afternoon on West 12th Street in Oak Cliff, just west of I-35W.
He's about 5-foot-2, weighs about 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Oscar was last seen wearing a gray short sleeve shirt and blue and white plaid shorts.
Police say the boy could be a danger to himself.
Driver Facing 270 Years For Deadly Texas Church Bus Crash Arrested
UVALDE (AP) - A driver facing up to 270 years in prison for causing a Texas wreck that killed 13 people has been arrested for allegedly violating bond while awaiting sentencing.
Uvalde County records show Jack Dillon Young of Leakey was jailed Tuesday without bond. Young was arrested July 12 after allegedly testing positive for the active agent in marijuana.
Young, after the March 2017 crash, told investigators he'd texted and was on prescription drugs when his vehicle hit a minibus from First Baptist Church of New Braunfels. That driver and 12 passengers died. One passenger survived.
Officers found marijuana in Young's truck.
Young in May pleaded no contest to intoxication assault and 13 counts of intoxication manslaughter, with sentencing set for November.
Prosecutors and a defense lawyer didn't immediately return messages Tuesday.
Student Arrest Numbers Soar After School Massacres
DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A new study says there has been a six hundred percent increase in the number of Texas students charged with for exhibition of a firearm since the school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas. And a 156 percent increase for charges of a terrorstic threat.
The report, "Collateral Consequences," was written by Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas and The Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy Inc.
The study says that there were no referrals to police in 2016 and there were five last year. It found that there were at least 1,400 through May of this year.
Students age 13 to 14 had the most referrals for both offenses.
Dustin Rynders, supervising attorney at Disability Rights Texas notes that charge does not mean an actual weapon was shown. The child only has to mention a gun, even though they may not have access to one. He says one child who was charged has autism and is eleven.
"Their schedule for the day was different, that throws him off and his routine off. He was accused of making some inappropriate comments and was charged with a felony."
He said that school agreed this was a disability related conduct issue, but the boy was prosecuted anyway. And he adds nearly all of those charged have been disabled.
He says while the threats should not be taken lightly, he'd like to see all schools do a risk assessment. "To ask questions, like do you have access to a firearm, and also to get to underlying causes....are you being bullied? Do you need mental health services? What are the reasons this comment may have been made?"
Texas executes man for 2004 slaying of store owner
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas prisoner was executed Tuesday evening for the fatal shooting of a San Antonio convenience store owner after courts turned down appeals that the state parole board improperly rejected the inmate's clemency request because he's black.
Christopher Young, 34, never denied the slaying, which was recorded on a store surveillance camera, but insisted he was drunk and didn't intend to kill 53-year-old Hasmukh "Hash" Patel during an attempted robbery after drinking nearly two dozen beers and then doing cocaine that Sunday morning, Nov. 21, 2004.
Asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Young said he wanted to make sure his victim's family knew he loved them "like they love me."
"Make sure the kids in the world know I'm being executed and those kids I've been mentoring keep this fight going," he added.
As the lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital began taking effect, he twice used an obscenity to say he could taste it and that it was burning.
"I taste it in my throat," he said.
As he slipped into unconsciousness, he said something unintelligible and began taking shallow breaths. He stopped moving within about 30 seconds and was pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m. CDT.
Twenty-five minutes had passed since he was first given the lethal drug.
Young became the eighth prisoner put to death this year in Texas, one more than all of 2017 in the nation's busiest capital punishment state.
Young's attorneys sued the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles after the panel last week rejected a clemency plea where they argued Young was "no longer the young man he was when he arrived" on death row, that he was "truly remorseful" and that Patel's son did not wish the execution to take place.
In their federal civil rights suit, Young's lawyers argued a white Texas inmate, Thomas Whitaker, received a rare commutation earlier this year as his execution was imminent for the slaying of his mother and brother. Young is black and race improperly "appears to be the driving force in this case," attorney David Dow said in the appeal that sought to delay the punishment.
A federal judge in Houston dismissed the lawsuit and refused to stop the execution, then hours later Tuesday the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down an appeal of that ruling. Young's attorneys did not take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Stephen Hoffman, an assistant Texas attorney general, said the lawsuit was a delay tactic, improper, speculative and "legally and factually deficient."
Young and his lawyers argued he no longer was a Bloods street gang member, had matured in prison and hoped to show others "look where you can end up."
"I didn't know about death row," Young told The Associated Press recently from prison. "It needs to be talked about. You've got a whole new generation. You've got to stop this, not just executions but the crimes. Nobody's talking to these kids. I can't bring Hash back but I can do something to make sure there's no more Hashes."
According to court documents, Young sexually assaulted a woman in her apartment with her three young children present, then forced her to drive off with him in her car. She managed to escape, and records show he drove one block to the Mini Food Mart where owner Patel was shot. He was arrested 90 minutes later after picking up a prostitute and driving to a crack house where the stolen car was parked outside and spotted by San Antonio police.
From prison, he denied the sexual assault, although court records said DNA tests confirmed the attack. He said he shot Patel in the hand and the bullet careened into Patel's chest, killing him. The surveillance camera recorded both video and audio of the shooting and two customers in the parking lot identified Young as the shooter.
Mitesh Patel, whose father was killed by Young, said he supported Young's clemency bid because "nothing positive comes from his execution" and carrying out the punishment would leave Young's three teenage daughters without a father.
The victim's son met privately with Young in prison Monday.
"I don't agree with the state's choice to execute him," he told the San Antonio Express-News after the meeting.
Young said the shooting stemmed from a dispute he believed involved the mother of one of his three children and the store owner. The woman, however, lied to him, he said.
"He was not a bad dude at all," Young said. "I was drunk. We knew the victim. The whole confrontation went wrong. I thought he was reaching for a gun and I shot."
Young said he excelled at chess and violin, cello and bass but "all that stopped" and he joined the Bloods when he was about 8 after his father was shot and killed in a robbery.
At least seven other Texas inmates have execution dates in the coming months.