Failed transformer throws The Strip into darkness

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A Dallas police officer directs traffic on the darkened corner of Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street on Saturday. A failed transformer eliminated power along several blocks of The Strip.

A transformer on the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street burst into sparks at about 11 p.m. Saturday, causing the power to fail on several blocks on The Strip. Dozens of businesses, including several of the clubs, lost their power. On one side of the street, JR’s Bar and Grill was dark, but S4 still had power. Down the road, Woody’s, Italia Express, Havana, ilume and many other businesses were managing without electricity.

Dallas police officers directed traffic as the streets filled with club patrons. The officers had no information about how long it would take to restore power.

—  Steve Ramos

Carrollton man robbed at gunpoint on Hall Street

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A 21-year-old Carrollton man told Dallas police three men robbed him Friday night at 3922 N. Hall St., taking $255 worth of property.

A 21-year-old Carrollton man told Dallas police three men robbed him at gunpoint Friday night at 3922 N. Hall St.

The police report states the victim parked his car to visit a friend in an apartment, and when he returned to the car at about 9:18 p.m., a man walked around a small partition wall, pointed an automatic black pistol at him and said, “Give me your money and anything in your pockets.”

The victim gave the man his wallet and cell phone, according to the report. Two other men then walked around the corner, and one of them, along with the first man who brandished the gun, searched the victim’s pockets while the third man acted as a look-out.

The gunman then fled south on foot, and the other two men fled west on foot.

The victim wasn’t injured during the robbery, the report states, but he said the property taken from him is worth $255.

Because the men used a gun in the robbery, the crime is listed as aggravated. The police report doesn’t provide a description of the suspects.

Other people in the Cedar Springs area also found themselves relieved of hundreds of dollars for hefty towing charges after United Towing moved their vehicles from restricted areas.

One particular spot behind the Round-Up Saloon has become a hot spot for towing. Despite a clear sign that says parking on the sidewalk is prohibited, people have continued to park in a spot that straddles the parking lot and the sidewalk.

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This area behind the Round-Up Saloon has proven to be a boon for United Towing. People continue to park in the spot beside this truck, half of it on the sidewalk, despite a warning sign.

“I was leaving the Round-Up to go home, but found that my car had been towed,” one man said. When he called United Towing, they told him it would cost $160 to get his car back.

“While I was making the call, four other people pulled into that same spot where I was towed, so I told each of them not to park there,” he said.

Each week, several cars have been towed from that spot, although United Towing declined to say how many.

 

—  Steve Ramos

Rainbow-colored ‘B-G’ letters arrive at the ilume on Cedar Springs

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Just in time for the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality rulings, the rainbow-colored “B-G” letters have arrived, as promised, at the ilume on Cedar Springs. Above is Dallas Voice’s Chance Browning striking a pose this afternoon, fittingly, in his “Marriage is so gay” tee. A few more pics after the jump.

—  John Wright

Kroger adds security to parking lot to prevent late night noise, partying

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The Kroger on Cedar Springs Road has added more security to its parking lot on weekends to try to curb noise and illegal activity after the bars close.

Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston said two weeks ago that the store wanted to work with Dallas police and ilume management to create a permanent solution to ilume’s concerns about late night partying continuing in the unmonitored pay lot.

He said he’s now met with all the stakeholders and more security has been added to maintain control of the parking lot.

Joshuah Welch, director of operations at ilume, said the store is working to maintain security until 4 a.m. when the last of the bars close, which has been helping.

“This is helping clear out the loitering and parking lot parties that were occurring after hours,” he said.

Welch previously told Dallas Voice that the parking lot has become a nuisance with noise and partying after the parking lot attendant took money and left it unsupervised. Ilume has offered to operate the parking lot for Kroger in the past, which Huddleston said was one of the ideas to solve the issues that have increased over the past few months.

Welch said the increased security will continue on a trial run for a month before management meets with Kroger again about the issue, but he is “hopeful that this is a permanent solution to the noise and chaos that was occurring in the parking lot after hours.”

—  Dallasvoice

Woman arrested for DWI after striking 2 pedestrians on Cedar Springs

Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson

A woman was arrested for driving while intoxicated early Sunday after two pedestrians were hit on Cedar Strings Road.

Valerie Michelle Wilson, 26, struck two pedestrians who were walking near Italia Express at 2:30 a.m., Dallas police spokeswoman LaTonia Kelly said.

Kelly said witnesses alerted off-duty police officers working nearby. Police later discovered Wilson had been drinking and arrested her.

Both pedestrians were transported to Parkland for treatment. Kelly said their injuries weren’t listed in the initial report.

After two pedestrians were killed on Cedar Springs in 2011, the city installed flashing crosswalk lights and other improvements designed to make the area safer.

—  Dallasvoice

Dallas Voice staffer brings Station 4 pickpockets to justice

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After he used an app to track down his stolen iPhone and called police, Chad snapped this photo of DPD officers taking the suspects into custody.

One of our sales reps here at Dallas Voice, Chad Mantooth, fell victim to pickpockets on the dancefloor of Station 4 on Friday night. As those of us who look through police reports regularly know, this is an all-too-common occurrence. (I would avoid taking your wallet to the club – but if you do, carry it in your front pocket.)

While what happened to Chad is common, what makes his story unusual is that he subsequently took the law into his own hands and tracked down the thieves — who are now facing charges. And thanks to him there are a few less pickpockets in the Cedar Springs gay bars. Below is the real-life, gay-on-gay crime story as Chad tells it:

—  John Wright

Aura Salon fills long-vacant space on Cedar Springs; open house Saturday

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Aura Salon has filled one of the longest-vacant spaces on the Cedar Springs strip.

Owner Darel McCurdy said the salon is open with four operators and he has space for 10 more. Before moving to Oak Lawn, he said he worked at a salon in Frisco for 15 years.

“I’ve wanted to come back down to the community for a long time now,” he said.

He said he is looking forward to greeting people at his open house that will be held on Saturday at the salon.

The space has been vacant for two-and-a-half years. The previous tenant was Zen Clips.

Buli, the cafe next door, had plans to expand with an option to lease the space for more than a year. Those expansion plans to turn the coffeehouse into a piano bar were halted by the city because of lack of parking for a bar or restaurant, which require more parking than retail tenants. That deal fell through and Buli remains a coffee and sandwich shop.

Currently, the only vacancy in the heart of the strip is the space formerly occupied by Drama Room. Another long-vacant space that was formerly An Occasional Piece is now the S4L spin studio.

Open house: 3910 Cedar Springs Road, Feb. 16 at 6–9 p.m. Wine, cocktails and appetizers served.

—  David Taffet

The Drama Room is closed

Lonzie Hershner, owner of the Drama Room, confirmed Thursday that the Cedar Springs bar is closed.

“We sat and decided it’s not worth pursuing,” he said. “We shut it down yesterday.”

The Hershners had been haggling with the property owner over the renewal of their lease.

Meanwhile, Arthur Hood sent Dallas Voice a copy of a lawsuit he filed in September against the Hershners for breach of contract.

Hershner said there were no grounds for the suit. He called Hood a disgruntled former employee who was relieved of his duties.

Hood said the closing of Drama Room does not affect his lawsuit. In the suit he said he entered into a sale agreement with the Hershners and put money into the bar to bring it current. He said the Hershners canceled the sale.

Hood said he plans to amend the suit next week and is trying to force the Hershners into arbitration.

Meanwhile, on Friday, an administrative law court will hear a challenge to the issuance of a liquor license for the Hideaway, the Hershner’s proposed reopening of a bar on Buena Vista Street in the Cole Park area of Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet

Teen arrested for squeezing police officer’s testicles outside Havana

Cory Weddington III

A club-goer was arrested early Sunday at the Havana Lounge on Cedar Springs Road for public intoxication, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer after squeezing the officer’s testicles during an arrest.

Cory Weddington III, 19, was kicked out of the club, at 4006 Cedar Springs Road, around 4 a.m. when he was caught drinking, according to a Dallas police report.

Weddington allegedly refused to leave without his credit card, which he told police he left at the bar. Witnesses said they would retrieve his card when the club closed and return it to him. He became agitated and police told him to leave and gave him “several opportunities to leave with his friends,” the report states.

When he did not listen, an officer tried to take him into custody, but he became combative. The officer was able to take Weddington to the ground with an arm-bar technique and took hold of his left hand, but Weddington reached up with his right hand to the officer’s pants and began squeezing his testicles. The office put pressure behind his ear and told him to let go, but he squeezed harder, causing increased pain to the officer, the report states.

The officer then punched him in the face, but Weddington only squeezed more and began to twist his hand, causing the officer “extreme pain.” Weddington only relinquished his hold after the officer punched him multiple times.

He continued to fight officers while being handcuffed, the report states. His credit card was later found in his pocket, along with another in his wallet.

—  Dallasvoice

2 arrested in Cedar Springs ATM kidnapping; DPD still seeks 2 suspects

Two people were arrested in Oklahoma this week whom Dallas police believe are connected to an ATM robbery and kidnapping on Cedar Springs on Sept. 3.

Sr. Cpl. Sherri Jeffrey, a spokeswoman for DPD, told Instant Tea on Wednesday that the names of the arrested individuals have not been released and investigators are still trying to identify two other suspects. Sr. Cpl. Ashaki Hardeman said Friday that police are not currently releasing any other information.

A 43-year-old man was kidnapped while using an ATM in the 3900 Cedar Springs Road, according to a previous press release from Dallas police. The exact location of the ATM has not been released.

The man was bound with duct tape and driven to locations in Dallas and Irving where his captives forced him to give his PIN to withdraw cash before he was dumped in Irving.

Police released photos of two suspects last week. It is unclear if these are of the two people who were arrested in Oklahoma this week. They are described as a Hispanic woman wearing a light-colored shirt and a Hispanic man wearing a dark blue shirt with light-colored shorts. He is approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds. The type of vehicle is unknown.

Anyone with information about this case can contact Detective Scoggins of the Crimes Against Persons Robbery Unit at 214-671-3658 or 214-671-3584. Photos of the suspects are below.

—  Dallasvoice