TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Monitor seeking public input about trooper traffic stops
The Monitor wants your help. If you’ve been pulled over by a state trooper in the Rio Grande Valley any time between April and June 2021, we’d like to hear about your experience. The goal is to gauge the impact that the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Operation Lone Star initiative has had on the community, which has increased enforcement in border communities in an effort to curb trafficking. Whether a positive or negative experience, we want to hear them. To share your thoughts, email [email protected], or if you’d like to speak to a reporter, contact AIM Media Texas’ investigative reporter, Valerie Gonzalez, at (956) 342-0699.myrgv.com
Abbott receives National Border Patrol Council endorsement in Edinburg
Greg Abbott officially added the support of the National Border Patrol Council to his reelection effort Monday. Council President Brandon Judd cited Abbott’s deployment of Texas resources to the border as motivations for the endorsement. In 2021 the governor prompted the creation of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Operation Lone Star, which started in Starr County, and deployed Texas National Guard personnel to the border. He chose McAllen to officially launch his reelection bid just three days ago, a high-energy campaign rally steeped in Republican rhetoric with hundreds of attendees. It was held in a nondescript Border Patrol council office building and lasted just 10 minutes.myrgv.com
San Juan teen struck, killed minutes into 2022
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating a New Year’s Day crash that left a 17-year-old San Juan resident who was crossing the road dead. DPS said in a news release that the fatal crash happened on Cesar Chavez Road south of Owassa Road at 12:06 a.m. Saturday. The preliminary investigation indicates a 2012 white Toyota Sienna driven by a man was traveling at a high rate of speed and hit Juan Vasquez Jr., who died at the scene. “The driver of the Toyota fled on foot,” DPS said in a Saturday news release. As of Monday morning, the agency had not issued an update on the status of the driver.myrgv.com
Texas DPS: 1 dead, 3 injured after helicopter crash near Livingston in Polk County
One person is dead after authorities with <a href="https://twitter.com/TxDPSSoutheast/status/1476651414327902221" target="_blank">Texas Department of Public Safety</a> said a helicopter crashed at a field in Polk County.
UPDATED: Both northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 281 reopen
28-year-old Joshua Juarez surrendered and was taken into custody without incident at approximately 9:40 p.m., said DPS spokesman Lt. Johnny Hernandez. DPS temporarily shut down both the northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 281 near the Linn-San Manuel area while the standoff situation ensued. The highway reopened at approximately 10:10 p.m., after being closed for approximately three hours. The standoff began after Juarez attempted to evade a DPS trooper in Brooks County. DPS used spike strips to stop his car just south of the Brooks and Hidalgo county line, and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies assisted DPS with the standoff.myrgv.com
Mission Police offer details in deadly weekend crash; suspect arraigned
The Mission Police Department has released more details about what led to a major car crash that claimed the lives of two Mission residents Saturday. “The suspect vehicle disregarded the red traffic signal at Conway and U.S. Interstate 2 Frontage Road,” the release read. As the Ford Escape continued north on Conway Avenue, DPS Troopers took the lead in pursuing the vehicle. “The suspect vehicle continued northbound on Conway Avenue and upon reaching 2 Mile line road, the operator of the suspect vehicle, Esteban Cantu Jr., an 18-year-old Mission resident then turned left and proceeded westbound on the Two Mile line,” the release continued. Cantu was arraigned before Mission Municipal Court Judge Johnathon Wehrmeister.myrgv.com
Garciasville resident charged with accident involving death
The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested a 48-year-old Garciasville resident Saturday and charged her with accident involving death over allegations that she hit a pedestrian before fleeing. Yesenia Garza is accused of hitting 55-year-old Garciasville resident Marcelina Alfaro Castillo on U.S. 83 and Farm-to-Market Road 1430 Saturday night. DPS says Garza was arrested after a trooper pulled over the white Jeep Commander, which was also occupied by two children, and determined she was involved in the hit-and-run after seeing a defective front right headlight, damage to the front right and a missing right front quarter panel. “Based on the Trooper’s roadside interview, it was determined the vehicle had been involved in a crash and fled the scene,” an agency news release stated.myrgv.com
Edinburg man dies in single-vehicle crash Sunday night
The Texas Department of Public Safety says a 50-year-old man was driving at an unsafe speed before losing control of his vehicle and going airborne into a canal. Edinburg resident Oscar Garcia Arango died at the scene, DPS said. The crash happened Sunday at approximately 8:56 p.m. on Wisconsin Road west of Val Verde Road, according to a news release, which says Garcia was driving a 2011 GMC Terrain. The incident remains under investigation by DPS.myrgv.com
Fatal crash in Linn under investigation
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating a fatal crash that happened in Linn on Monday morning. The man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, died at the scene. A woman in the Saturn was transported to DHR Health with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Freightliner was not injured. The crash occurred at 9:45 a.m. and DPS continues to investigate.myrgv.com
Mission man facing more than a dozen charges in fatal smuggling crash
DPS troopers arrested Mario Oscar Corona Maldonado on Friday following the fatal crash that occurred at about 8:03 a.m. on Jara Chinas Road north of Farm-to-Market Road 2221, which is north of La Joya. He received a total of $2,110,000 in bonds on the charges and the affidavit for his arrest indicates Homeland Security Investigations has a federal detainer and that federal charges are pending. Prior to the crash, a trooper overheard DPS communications about a black or green pick-up truck that had possibly picked up 20 people entering the country illegally. “The vehicle traveled northbound onto a dirt road where the driver later lost control of his vehicle and had a roll-over crash,” the affidavit said. Two men who were in the bed of the truck died in the crash.myrgv.com
State agencies urge safe driving during Thanksgiving holiday
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and Texas Department of Public Safety are urging drivers to practice cautious driving to get to and from their holiday celebrations safely. This year, large numbers of travelers are expected on Texas roads, which means more breakdowns and traffic stops are likely as well. “This Thanksgiving more people will be out and it’s important to remember it’s up to each one of us to keep the roads safe,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a news release. The department asks that Thanksgiving drivers slow down or move over for stopped emergency vehicles including tow trucks, police cars and fire trucks. State troopers will be looking for people not wearing seat belts, driving while intoxicated, speeding and failing to follow the Move Over, Slow Down law, among other traffic violations.myrgv.com
Band director among those killed in Texas school bus crash
The three men killed in a fiery West Texas crash involving a school bus carrying members of a high school band included the band director, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Saturday. The driver of the bus, Marc Elbert Boswell, 69, and the pickup's driver, Nathan Paul Haile, 59, also died following the collision. Two of the 25 students on the bus were taken to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition and 11 students were treated at a Big Springs hospital for minor injuries, Baker said.news.yahoo.com
Aryan Brotherhood gang member from Magnolia added to Texas Most Wanted list, DPS says
The Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday added two new fugitives to its Texas 10 Most Wanted lists. Gang member Joshua David Whitworth, of Magnolia, was added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List and sex offender John Oliver Talmadge McMickings, of El Paso, was added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders List.
Congressional Democrats ask feds to investigate whether Texas migrant arrests violate constitutional rights
Under a Gov. Greg Abbott initiative, more than 1,600 migrants have been arrested for allegedly trespassing on private property after crossing the Texas-Mexico border. The arrests and subsequent imprisonment of the migrants have led to state law violations and constitutional concerns.
Questions linger over response to surge of Hatiatians showing up in Del Rio
As the federal government was working to process and remove an estimated 15,000 migrants from under the international bridge in Del Rio, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials held an “on background” conference call with reporters covering the effort.
US sues Texas to block state troopers from stopping migrants
The Biden administration sued Texas to prevent state troopers from stopping vehicles carrying migrants on grounds that they may spread COVID-19, warning that the practice would exacerbate problems amid high levels of crossings on the state’s border with Mexico.
When should you take action to rescue a child or pet trapped inside a hot car?
On a hot summer day, your car can heat up to 20 degrees higher than the outside temperature in just 10 minutes. That is why you should never leave your child or pet unattended inside a vehicle. But what if you see a child in the back of a car? Should you jump in and immediately break the window?
HAVE YOU SEEN HIM? Authorities need help identifying man who kidnapped, robbed 16-year-old in north Harris County
Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who they believed kidnapped and robbed a 16-year-old boy in north Harris County.
Texas lawmakers, lobby firm react to allegations that a lobbyist gave date rape drug to Capitol aide
<a href="https://www.texastribune.org/newsletters/the-brief/?utm_medium=website&utm_source=trib-ads-owned&utm_campaign=trib-marketing&utm_term=inline-CTA-brief"><i>Sign up for The Brief</i></a><i>, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.</i>
Texas trooper Chad Walker dies days after he was shot multiple times while on duty
MEXIA, Texas – The Texas state trooper who was shot during a traffic stop last week died on Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed. Trooper Chad Walker, 38, was stopping to assist a driver near Mexia, Texas, around 7:45 p.m. Friday, March 26, when he was shot multiple times. Trooper Walker was transported to Baylor Scott & White – Hillcrest Hospital in Waco, where he later died from his injuries. “Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Walker was committed to protecting the people of Texas. His career in law enforcement began in 2003 with the Groesbeck Police Department and continued as a member of the Athens Police Department, Henderson Co. Sheriff’s Office and Limestone Co. Sheriff’s Office.
Man who shot Texas State Trooper dies by suicide, authorities say
MEXIA, Texas – The man who fled after shooting a Texas State Trooper has died according to an update shared on the Mclennan County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. According to the post, Limestone County Judge Richard Duncan said DeArthur Pinson, 37, died by suicide. Walker was struck in the head and abdomen and was later flown to a hospital in Waco, about 40 miles away. AdHarris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez shared a post to Twitter asking the community to keep Walker in their prayers. “Please join me in lifting him up in prayer, along with all our men and women in blue,” Gonalez said in part.
Ask 2: What’s the proper way to cross a median?
The confusion comes when the crossover is not striped - people aren’t sure which side of the crossover they should use. If the crossover is at an intersection and the median is *less than 30 feet wide, both ends of the crossover are part of the same intersection. If the crossover is not at an intersection with another highway, the vehicle is not considered to be turning “at an intersection”. When they turn into the crossover, they are simply entering another roadway that is part of the same highway. The crossover is essentially a short roadway that traverses the median.
Gov. Greg Abbott addresses unaccompanied minors situation at the border
HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference on Wednesday at 12 p.m. in Dallas to discuss unaccompanied minors at the border. A Texas Department of Public Safety official also spoke at the event. Watch a livestream of the event in the video at the top of this article as soon as it can be processed by the KPRC 2 team.
Woman accused of bogus 911 calls leading up to Harding Street raid pleads guilty
Patricia Garcia is seen in this mug shot provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety. HOUSTON – The woman accused of making a series of fake 911 calls, setting into motion the events that led to the Harding Street police raid, has pleaded guilty. According to court documents obtained Wednesday by KPRC 2, Patricia Ann Garcia has pleaded guilty to a charge of false information and hoaxes. Federal prosecutors said Garcia, who lived near the Harding Street home where the raid happened, made a series of calls to 911 in January 2019. He’s accused of lying on an affidavit used to obtain the warrant that led to the raid.
TribCast: Gov. Greg Abbott drops Texas' mask mandate
Greg Abbott adjusts his mask after giving an update on the categories of medical surge facilities at a press conference at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin on June 16, 2020. Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell/Pool/Austin American-Statesman(Audio unavailable. On this week's TribCast, Matthew speaks with Ross, Patrick and Kate about Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to rescind statewide coronavirus orders and the fight over "The Eyes of Texas" at the University of Texas. Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism.
2nd person arrested in 2019 shooting that killed 11-year-old boy while he slept
Cameron Moore is seen in a mug shot obtained from his Texas Department of Public Safety record on Feb. 23, 2021. HOUSTON – A second person has been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed an 11-year-old boy while he slept nearly two years ago. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet Tuesday that Cameron Moore has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the June 9, 2019, shooting death of Kameron Jones. Sonnie Reyes was previously arrested and charged with murder in connection with the case. Investigators said at the time of the shooting that it appeared an assault rifle was used in the shooting.
20-year-old Texarkana man added to Texas Top 10 Most Wanted list
Marques Jujuan Thompson, 20, has been added to the Texas Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. TEXARKANA, Texas – The Texas Department of Public Safety is searching for a man who they say is wanted for multiple crimes, including murder. Marques Jujuan Thompson, 20, is charged with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm, battery, stalking and intimidation and a probation violation and has been added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. Thompson violated his probation and fled his last known address in Texarkana in August 2020, authorities said. Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to Thompson’s arrest.
Amber Alert from Texas DPS features Chucky, Glen Ray characters from ‘Child’s Play’ horror series
The Texas Department of Public Safety issued this message on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. HOUSTON – The Texas Department of Public Safety issued an Amber Alert Friday that featured two movie characters: Glen Ray and Chucky from the “Child’s Play” horror film series. Here is the image from the Amber Alert message. The Texas Department of Public Safety issued this message on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. KPRC 2 learned from DPS that the Amber Alert was a test that accidentally went out.
Ask 2: Is there a violation for putting on makeup (or other distractions) while driving?
HOUSTON – Question: Is there a violation for putting on makeup in traffic? Woodard with the Texas Department of Public Safety, there are no specific traffic laws in Texas regarding applying cosmetic products while driving, but any kind of distracted driving, is highly discouraged. Applying make-up while driving is considered a manual and visual distraction. If you cause a crash because you were putting on makeup, Woodard says you can get a ticket. This is why: The driver failed to control their speed.
Texas waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards ends in April
HOUSTON – The waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses and identification cards ends on April 14, 2021, Texas Department of Public Safety said Monday. People who need to renew should make an appointment or renew online as soon as possible, DPS advised in a news release. Greg Abbott in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020. Scheduling an appointmentServices at driver license offices are now conducted by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler.
Ask 2: When can you drive through, if ever, at a red traffic light?
HOUSTON – At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our new Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things HoustonQuestion: When can you drive through, if ever, at a red traffic light? Answer: I contacted Sergeant Stephen Woodard with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He told me, the only time it is legal to travel through a red light is when directed by a police officer or flagger. The only legal option, in this case, is to make a legal right turn and go around the light.
Texas Capitol to close Saturday, before planned armed protests of Joe Biden’s inauguration
The Texas Capitol is closing from Saturday through Wednesday. The Texas Department of Public Safety said the closures come as armed protestors plan to rally there. The Texas Capitol in Austin will be closed Saturday through Wednesday, the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. “The Texas Department of Public Safety is aware of armed protests planned at the Texas State Capitol this week and violent extremists who may seek to exploit constitutionally protected events to conduct criminal acts,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a statement. Trump supporters had also gathered outside the state Capitol as chaos ensued in Washington, D.C., but media reports indicated that the event did not appear to be violent.
Texas closes its Capitol building following chaos in Washington, D.C.
(TEXAS TRIBUNE) – The Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday closed the state Capitol and surrounding grounds after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. during the certification of the Electoral College. An official with the law enforcement agency confirmed the move in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “The Capitol and Capitol Complex are closed to the public effective immediately,” the agency said in a statement attributed to Freeman Martin, the agency’s deputy director of homeland security operations. The shutdown of the Texas Capitol, which reopened to the public Monday after being closed for months, also comes days before the Texas Legislature is set to convene for its 2021 legislative session. Earlier Wednesday, Trump supporters had also started gathering outside the state Capitol.
DPS announces temporary waiver for driver licenses, ID expirations ends in April
HOUSTON – The Texas Department of Public Safety announced Tuesday that the temporary waiver for driver licenses and identification cards will end in April. DPS is urging customers to renew by appointment. The waiver applies to driver licenses, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020. Scheduling an appointmentTo schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler. Because of the no-shows, many offices offer customers without appointments to be placed on a “standby” list.