Man arrested for throwing tongs that lodged in child's skull
The man told police he was upset over not bringing enough food home.
By Miguel Liscano
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Austin police have arrested a man they say threw a pair of tongs that lodged in a 6-year-old girl's skull and caused brain damage.
Johnny Gauna, 34, was charged Thursday with injury to a child, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He was being held in the Travis County jail Friday with bail set at $25,000.
Gauna told police that he lost his temper after his girlfriend, Tanya De Los Santos, 24, returned home to a residence at 4515 Quicksilver Blvd. in Southeast Austin on Wednesday, carrying only food for herself and the child, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
"Gauna said he threw the tongs and did not know he had hit (the child) in the head," the affidavit said.
A doctor at the Children's Hospital of Austin said the handle of the metal tongs penetrated the child's skull by at least 1 inch, according to the affidavit. "There were bone fragments and bleeding occurring inside the brain itself, constituting injury to the brain," it said.
A representative for the hospital would not say whether the child was still in the facility Friday.
If Gauna posts bail, he can't go within 200 yards of the home on Quicksilver Boulevard until at least Oct. 3, according to a protective order issued Thursday.
Police would not provide further information relating to the incident.
De Los Santos could not be located for comment.
Police say drill tossed at boy kills him
Stepfather sought on assault charge
By ART LAWLER
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Longview police are looking for a man accused of tossing a cordless drill at his stepson on July 24, leading to the boy's death.
Ruben Mata, 9, caught the drill from Fredrico Garcia in the family's back yard at 2924 LeTourneau, but the drill pierced his chest, police reports say.
Mata died Sunday at Children's Hospital in Dallas. A Mass is being celebrated at 7 tonight at St. Matthew's Catholic Church.
Anyone with information concerning Garcia's whereabouts is asked to contact the Longview Police Department at (903) 237-1110 or Gregg County Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-STOP.
A warrant for aggravated assault had been issued Thursday, before the child's death, by County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Becky Simpson.
"Obviously with the death of the child, the charges against Mr. Garcia will be reviewed, and the case remains under investigation," Longview Police Department public information officer Shaun Pendleton said in a prepared statement.
Asked if the drill was "tossed" or "thrown" at the child, Pendleton said charges would be filed either way.
"Even if you don't injure the child intentionally, you may do so with reckless behavior. If you drive a car and a passenger gets killed, even though it's an accident, you can still be charged," he said.
As to whether the charge would be upgraded to manslaughter, Pendleton said, "that'll depend on what detectives find out once they locate him, and what the district attorney's office or a grand jury decide to do."
Garcia had been taking apart some old refrigerators with the drill before Mata's injury, police said.
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Paintball gunmen charged after Friday shooting spree
Two teens face felony charges after woman hit in arm
By Joshunda Sanders
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Two teens hung out the windows of the silver Nissan on Friday, laughing and shooting paintballs as they cruised East Austin, police said. The yellow paintballs peppered a wall of the Terrazas branch library, then smacked Lisa Ramos on the arm and left a painful welt.
Now, they could face up to 20 years in prison after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.
Austin police arrested Jesus Bocanegra Jr., 18, and Juventino Mendez Jr., 17, on Friday after stopping their vehicle and finding a paintball gun inside and two others in bushes nearby, according to an arrest affidavit. A third teen was questioned but was not charged.
Paintball guns fire marble-size paint pellets that burst on impact.
Bocanegra and Mendez were released from jail after posting bail. They could not be reached for comment Monday.
Ramos was in the 100 block of Chalmers Avenue on Friday when she was hit, and a man who saw the shooting flagged down a police officer, the affidavit says.
Ramos showed police a large welt on her arm, which she said was caused by a paintball, and told the officer that the assailants had been driving a silver Nissan Altima, according to the affidavit. Police said she was not seriously injured.
Police found the car in the 1100 block of Willow Street, a few blocks from where Ramos was shot. The teens initially said they were just driving around, the affidavit said, but when police questioned them about the paintball guns, the teens confessed to shooting at several people with them.
Police in the area have received several reports of people shooting yellow paintballs in the past month, the affidavit said.
Dumping of sewage in creek did not involve use of d/w. see today's opinion from Dallas:
The prosecutors should receive the award for Best Attempted DW Finding of the Year. A valiant effort and creative use of the DW laws.
WOMAN CONVICTED IN DEAD-DOG DISPUTE
A Wentzville woman was found guilty Wednesday of hitting another woman over the
head with a dead Chihuahua puppy, and could now get up to 18 months in jail.
The bench trial, heard before Associate Judge Terry Cundiff, featured X-rays of
the dead dog, a detective's pictures of the dog and testimony from the woman
who said she was hit over the head repeatedly with the dog.
Lisa Hopfer, 34, was found guilty of third-degree assault and trespassing, both
misdemeanors, after a trial that lasted about an hour at the St. Charles County
Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. She is expected to be sentenced Sept. 25.
Hopfer, who did not have an attorney, appeared in court wearing an oxygen tank,
which she said she needed because of health problems. She testified that she
never hit Hulsey with the dog. She did admit yelling at her and waving the dog
out her sunroof window as she drove away.
Are you sure the charge wasn't "assault with a dead weapon"???
You gotta read this opinion (click here). Victim wins the award for having the most unlucky day ever.
A.P., where are you? Would you please explain how this can happen in a prison that, according to anti-death penalty lawyers, can control every move of an inmate? Hey, and great article in the Texas Bar Journal.
Alright, alright, I'll admit that Texas prison really is a safe place, almost fun to be in actually. A convicted murderer can go there and join the Rotary Club and even be changed into a model citizen. Convicted murderers are actually better, more honorable, more gentle citizens than anyone else in the universe, including the late Mr. Rogers, God rest his dear soul.
William Cathey is not really dead. The body in the box with the dents in its head is really Elvis' hairdresser. Tamez did not kill anyone with a fan motor. He couldn't have, he was teaching fingerpainting to underprivileged children in Zimbabwe at the time.
Donald Vera was not killed by the Texas Syndicate on 11-12-02 at the Robertson Unit. He's really alive and working at the Krispy Kreme in Ludowici, Ga.
Micah Dugas was not murdered by the Mexican Mafia on 8-26-02 at the Coffield Unit (Cathey's old unit - small world). Micah faked his own beating; in fact he faked his own birth and he never was a prison inmate.
Hermon Robledo was not beaten and stomped to death by James Jass & Juan Ramirez at the for-crying-out-loud STATE JAIL. He couldn't have been, a state jail is for nice guys.
Officer Stanley Wiley was not slashed to death by convict Travis Runnels at the Bill Clements Unit on 1-29-03. It was a conspiracy to make Travis look bad to his great grandchildren.
I refuse to go on. I've got to practice my banjo technique.
And AP, don't forget about the life sentenced agg sexual assault of a child inmate who was lucky enough to be in the medical/aged unit at Central in Fort Bend County, the one who attempted to slash the throat of the kindly prison doctor trying to help this inmate with his medical conditions.
I'm sure that this incident was just a figment of master prosecutor Phil Hall's imagination, and mine, since I second chaired him in that trial several years ago.
I'm sure that was a figment of the Dr's imagination too. So was the stacked life sentence that the jury and judge gave said model inmate.
Man Who Claims Toupee Caused Attack Sues
MILFORD, Conn. A man who claims he had a heart attack during a dispute over an ill-fitting hairpiece that didn't match his hair color is suing the wig shop.
Paul Lewis claims he suffered a heart attack after refusing to pay for the hairpiece that was not only the wrong size but also the wrong color. He is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.
Lewis filed a counter lawsuit in Superior Court after Paula's Wig Boutique of Orange filed a small claims action seeking $1,200 in payment for the hairpiece.
Lewis claims he fell ill in December 2004 after Paula Wood, the owner of the wig shop, threatened to call police because he refused to pay, according to court records.
Lewis told the Connecticut Post that Wood sold him the hairpiece in a darkened room and he didn't realize it was the wrong color until later. He said he put a stop payment on a check he issued to the shop.
Wood said she has no idea why Lewis suffered a heart attack over the incident and added that he was so happy with the hairpiece when he left the shop that he "hugged me and thanked me."
She added that her shop is brightly lit and Lewis left with the hairpiece during the day.
Man fatally stung by bees
A 90-year-old man died after bees attacked him while he was mowing his lawn, authorities said.
Alfred Buentello was attacked Monday while mowing next to an old wooden barn. Victoria County Fire Marshal Kyle Young said he did not know what type of bee was involved or how many times Buentello was stung.
"In my best estimation, probably hundreds," he said.
Buentello's wife heard him yelling and called 911 after being unable to help him. He was pronounced dead at DeTar Hospital Navarro in Victoria.
There have been at least three other recent bee attacks in the county, with one person treated at a hospital and released, Young said.
Feel kinda icky posting this
Moya v. State
(Tex.App. Dist.7 10/13/2006)
Brian Quinn Chief Justice
Before QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and HANCOCK, JJ.
Appellant Jose Antonio Moya appeals from his conviction for driving while intoxicated. He does not dispute his conviction per se but the jury's determination that he used a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense. The deadly weapon, according to the State, consisted of the tractor he was driving at the time. Through his two issues, he contends that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to prove the tractor was a deadly weapon. We overrule the issues and affirm the judgment.
Bradley Ray Ashbrook (Ashbrook) testified that he was driving home in his '03 Dodge, 3/4 ton four-wheel drive diesel pickup truck on July 25, 2005, around 8:00 p.m. on Highway 380. As he was traveling, a tractor being driven by appellant "ended up in [his] lane." Though Ashbrook tried to avoid the tractor, his efforts proved unsuccessful because "[t]here wasn't nowhere [sic] to go." So, he "slammed on the brakes" and struck the "passenger-side tire of the tractor." While his truck was "totaled" (incurring approximately $32,000 worth of damage), he received minor injuries.
An investigating officer arriving at the scene found appellant in the driver's seat of the tractor. The officer noted that appellant's eyes were bloodshot, he had an empty beer can beside him, and he had a cut on the bridge of his nose. So too did the officer smell alcohol "coming from the tractor"; another witness testified that she smelled alcohol on appellant's breath. And, when asked, appellant admitted to drinking "earlier in the day" at around "8:00 a.m." (Emphasis added). However, testing undertaken about an hour after the crash revealed appellant's blood alcohol level to be .25.
Law and Its Application
The applicable standard of review is well-settled and need not be reiterated. Instead we cite the parties to Zuliani v. State, 97 S.W.3d 589 (Tex. Crim. App. 2003) and King v. State, 29 S.W.3d 556 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000) for its explanation.
Again, we note that appellant does not contest the fact of his intoxication. Rather, he questions the finding that the tractor constituted a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon is anything that "in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury." Tex. Penal Code �1.07(a)(17)(B). And, motor vehicles may fall within that category depending on their manner of use. Ex parte McKithan, 838 S.W.2d 560, 561 (Tex. Crim. App. 1992). With that said, we turn to the record before us.
Though no one testified about the model number or size of the tractor, it nonetheless was motorized and of sufficient mass to, if struck on the front passenger tire, "total" (or cause $32,000 worth of damage to) a 3/4 ton four-wheel drive diesel pickup truck. So, a jury could rationally conclude that it was no small thing. Moreover, it was being operated on a public roadway by someone who was intoxicated. While being so operated, it entered into an oncoming lane of traffic, and while oncoming traffic endeavored to avoid the tractor, it could not. The resulting collision "totaled" the aforementioned pickup truck. This constitutes some evidence upon which a rational jury could conclude beyond reasonable doubt that the tractor, in its manner of use, was capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. See Davis v. State, 964 S.W.2d 352, 354 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1998, no pet.) (holding that appellant's weaving into lanes of oncoming traffic while intoxicated and causing others to take evasive action was enough evidence to support a deadly weapon finding). So, the evidence was legally sufficient to support the verdict.
Next, in a factual sufficiency review, we must review all of the evidence to determine whether the adverse finding is against the great weight and preponderance of the available evidence. Johnson v. State, 23 S.W.3d 1, 11 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000). Appellant contends that he drove the tractor as he did due to chest pains, as opposed to his intoxication. Simply put, the evidence raised a fact issue as to whether the manner in which he drove the tractor was due to his intoxication or supposed chest pains. This is a fact issue for the jury to decide. Furthermore, his uncorroborated comments did not overwhelm the evidence indicative of his driving as he did while intoxicated. Again, this was left to the jury to decide. Thus, we cannot find that the evidence concerning the deadly weapon finding to be factually insufficient.
We overrule each issue and affirm the judgment.
Man critically injured in alligator attack
Four sheriff's deputies saved a man, who was naked and high on crack cocaine, from an attacking alligator.
By TRAVIS REED
LAKELAND - A 45-year-old man was hospitalized after four sheriff's deputies rescued him from the jaws of a nearly 12-foot alligator Wednesday, while he was naked and high on crack cocaine.
The Polk County deputies were responding to multiple calls about a man yelling for help at about 4 a.m. They could not shoot the animal because it was too dark and they might have hit the victim or one another, the sheriff's office said.
Adrian J. Apgar was taken to the hospital in critical condition with an apparent broken right arm, leg injuries and his left arm hanging by a tendon. Hospital officials did not immediately release information about his condition.
''It is an incredibly bacteria-filled environment that he was exposed to,'' Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
It was not clear why Apgar was in the lake. Judd said Apgar was naked and told deputies he had been smoking crack.
The deputies -- Michael Parker, Billy Osborne, David Clements and Sgt. Andrew Williams -- carried Apgar about 40 feet, up a steep incline and to an ambulance ashore. None of the four was injured in the gator-infested waters.
'I remember him saying, `I'm over here, get here quick, he's still got me, he's going to kill me, my arms are broken,' '' Parker said.
It took several attempts to get the 6-foot-1, 250-pound man out of the water.
At various points, one or two of the deputies were standing by, weapons pulled, on the lookout for other gators. Apgar told them he felt at least one more in the water.
''I was holding my shotgun. It's kind of hard to walk through that with a flashlight and a shotgun,'' Parker said.
Osborne said he pulled Apgar's arms while the gator gripped the lower half of his body. The reptile loosened his jaws and Osborne thought he was free, but the animal lunged again.
''It was a human being, he was dying. He needed help,'' Osborne said. ``I knew my partners were behind me. I wasn't too afraid another gator was going to get me.''
The alligator believed to have bitten the man was caught at about 1 p.m., roughly seven hours after Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trappers set out bait. Though it was not confirmed to be the man's attacker, the animal found and caught near the attack site was aggressive.
'I said, `Well how big did you think the alligator was?' [The deputies] said 'about the size of a school bus,' '' Judd said.
The deputies estimated that it took 15 to 20 minutes to pull Apgar to shore from the moment they arrived on the scene.
Don't ya love it when the mystery is cleared up in the very next sentence.
...now everyone blamed his old man for making him mean as a snake -- when Amos Moses was a boy, his daddy would use him for alligator bait.
Tie a rope around his neck, throw him in the swamp: Alligator bait in a Louisiana bayou.
....he could trap the biggest, the meanest alligator and just use one hand. That's all he's got left, 'cause the alligator bit him -- left arm gone, clean up to the elbow.
Pure poetry, from the compassionate, romantic pen of Jerry Reed.
I still wonder where that Lousianna Sheriff went to.
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