Dallas Voice staffer brings Station 4 pickpockets to justice

Chad

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

Salon

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.

—  Anna Waugh

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.

—  Anna Waugh

Man abducted at Cedar Springs ATM, bound with duct tape, dumped in Irving

The victim is believed to have been kidnapped from the ATM at the Bank of America at 4023 Cedar Springs Road.

A man using an ATM on the Cedar Springs strip early Tuesday was abducted, hogtied with duct tape and robbed before being dumped in a vacant lot in Irving, according to Dallas police.

A police report says the victim, 43-year-old Rudolph Dinwiddie of Grapevine, was using a Bank of America ATM at 4000 Cedar Springs Road — which is the intersection of Throckmorton Street — at about 1 a.m.

The four suspects pulled up in a vehicle and one of them pointed a “modified sub machine [gun]” at Dinwiddie, ordering him not to move, according to the report. The suspects threatened to kill Dinwiddie if he didn’t cooperate, and forced him into the back seat of their vehicle at gunpoint.

The suspects then handcuffed Dinwiddie and used duct tape and zip ties to bind his arms and legs. When they found his keys in his pocket, they ordered him to direct them to his vehicle, a 2010 Nissan Altima that was parked two blocks away. The suspects then drove their vehicle to a nearby gas station, where they used Dinwiddie’s money to fill up, before taking him to several ATMs in Dallas and Irving and demanding his PIN so they could withdraw more cash.

The suspects finally threw Dinwiddie out of their vehicle in a vacant lot at 1440 Lindy Lane in Irving, where he was found by Irving officers who were flagged down by a passer-by. Dinwiddie suffered scrapes to his back and shoulders, and had visible swelling on his wrists and forearms. He was treated at Colombia Medical Hospital in Irving.

The Bank of America branch with an ATM is at 4023 Cedar Springs Road. The police report also lists an address of 3900 Cedar Springs Road. There are three other sidewalk ATMs near the 3900 block of Cedar Springs, but they are not affiliated with any one bank.

Dallas police spokeswoman Ashaki Hardeman said she was unable to confirm which ATM the victim was using. Hardeman said no further information was available about the incident.

—  John Wright

Construction begins on ilume park

The Crosland Group broke ground earlier this month on ilume park on Cedar Springs Road at Douglas Avenue. Site excavation began this week.

Ilume park will be a four-story 240-unit apartment complex built in a style similar to the original ilume.

Developer Luke Crosland said he expected leasing to begin in about 13 months. He said the property will not have the retail that ilume has across the street, but will have more amenities than the original property.

The new property continues the “green built” philosophy of the first and Crosland said he has met with the city to ensure better sidewalks and lighting.

More on the project in next week’s Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

MAP: Crime in Oak Lawn

 

Oak Lawn crime watch leader Nancy Weinberger sent out the above map Monday showing where offenses occurred in Oak Lawn during the month of July. The Oak Lawn Apartment Managers and Stakeholders Crime Watch Group holds its monthly meeting at noon Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Oak Lawn Library Branch.

—  John Wright

Police seek suspects in robberies of 2 Cedar Springs club-goers this weekend

Two club-goers were robbed near Dallas’ gay entertainment district over the weekend.

The first robbery occurred at midnight on Saturday when a 30-year-old woman was punched in the back and in the right hand in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs Road.

The woman was leaving Sue Ellen’s and was walking down the sidewalk when the attack happened, according to the address listed in the Dallas police incident report. She was “alone in a partially lit area,” the report states.

The suspect took her purse and fled in a white SUV. He is described as a black male in his late 20s and about 6 feet tall.

The woman waited until she reached a friend’s house before calling 911. She was not injured.

The second robbery occurred in the 3300 block of Throckmorton Street around 11:20 p.m. Sunday.

A 36-year-old woman was walking to Station 4 with a friend when a Hispanic male in his 20s pointed a gun at them and took their property, Dallas police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey told Instant Tea. The man got away with $600 in cash, according to the report. He is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a medium build.

Anyone with information about these robberies should contact Dallas police at 314-671-3001. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477 or through the department’s iWatch smartphone app.

—  Anna Waugh

Weigh in: What do you consider “the gayborhood?”

A straight friend of mine asked me what the actual geographic boundaries of what we call “the gayborhood” are. It’s easy to say, “near the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton,” but that’s a locus, not a boundary. It can extend in all directions for large portions, and even spike down residential streets and cross highways, depending on how you define it.

So how do you define it? Is it a two-block radius around The Crossroads? The better part of Dallas County? Your bedroom on a Saturday night?

We’d like to hear you weigh in with what you consider Dallas’ gayborhood (or gayborhoods) in the comments. There is no winner, it’s just for fun … ah, hell, let’s pick a winner or two. We have some swag to hand out to some who contribute to the conversation  — we’re looking right now through our stuff to see what we have (hmmm…Adam Lambert CDs, an American Translation DVD, some books, OK, we’re good). Why not — it’s almost the weekend.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones