Gay couple shot near downtown apartment

Police say investigation is ongoing but decline to discuss details

David-Zaragoza-Travis-Vanderlaan

David-Zaragoza, left, and Travis-Vanderlaan, right

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

David Zaragoza and Travis Vanderlaan were shot during a robbery near their Dallas Farmer’s Market-area apartment at about 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18.

One of the victims was shot in the head and the other in the neck. Both are improving and expected to survive.

Two suspects were taken into custody soon after the incident.

According to friends, Zaragoza and Vanderlaan are a couple. The two live at the Camden Farmer’s Market apartments in Downtown Dallas.

Police are releasing very little information about the shootings or the arrests.

“We don’t want to jeopardize the investigation,” said LGBT police liaison Laura Martin.

The names of the suspects arrested are being withheld by police, Martin said. Although she said that was unusual, she said it was because of the ongoing investigation.

She could not confirm if police are looking for additional suspects.

According to Dallas County jail records, however, one of the people taken into custody is Kyle Bibbs, 31, of Carrollton. He is being held in Lew

Sterrett on $100,000 bond for two counts of aggravated robbery.

Police would give no details about the robbery beyond what went into the police reports.

“The complainant was shot during the course of an aggravated robbery,” said the police report. “Complainant was shot twice and robbed.”

The report also indicates that a blue Puma messenger bag containing $3,500 was taken during the robbery but recovered, apparently by police when they arrested the suspects.

Records from 9-1-1 indicate Vanderlaan called for help at 2:46 p.m. on Friday, reporting it as a shooting and robbery. Police were dispatched at 2:47 p.m.

Bibbs’ time of arrest is also listed as 2:47 p.m.

Bibbs has had several prior charges. One case was no billed by the grand jury. One was dismissed. In February, he agreed to plead guilty on a possession of marijuana charge. Dallas County records indicate he had probation revoked for possession of marijuana and possession of a prohibited weapon.

The incident is not being investigated as a random shooting.

Zaragoza is listed on police records making two calls to 9-1-1 earlier this year. No details appear on the reports but the signal codes indicate that one was to report a major disturbance and the other a burglary.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 25, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

In 9 years, 53 complaints of anti-gay discrimination in Dallas, but 0 prosecutions

A total of 53 complaints have been filed under a nine-year-old Dallas ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the city has never taken one of the complaints to court.

The city released statistics on the complaints to Dallas Voice this week in response to a request under the Texas Public information Act.

A city ordinance passed in 2002 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations. The definition of sexual orientation includes gender identity. Each violation of the ordinance is punishable by a maximum $500 fine.

The statistics from the city show that 49 of the 53 complaints have been closed, while four are pending.

In 32 of the 49 closed cases, or almost two-thirds, the City Attorney’s Office determined that there was no cause to prosecute. Here is a breakdown of the other dispositions:

• Five of the complaints were dismissed because they were non-jurisdictional, meaning they occurred outside the city or involved an entity that is exempt from the ordinance.

• Five of the cases were resolved by “conciliation,” or mediation.

• Four of the complaints were withdrawn, after the city says they were resolved to the parties’ mutual satisfaction.

• In three of the cases, the complainant was uncooperative.

Two city councilmembers, Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano, have said they’re reviewing the city’s handling of complaints under the ordinance. Hunt and Medrano launched their investigation in response to a letter from Resource Center Dallas questioning why no complaint has ever been prosecuted.

RCD’s letter, in turn, was prompted by Dallas Voice reports about a discrimination complaint against the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center, which refuses to sell family memberships to same-sex couples.

The complaint against the Fitness Center is still pending, as is one filed against the Dallas Morning News for refusing to publish same-sex wedding announcements.

—  John Wright

More on Sunday’s armed robbery in Oak Lawn, and an enhanced photo of that fake U.S. marshal

Dallas police on Tuesday released an enhanced photo (right) of the man they say posed as a U.S. marshal and assaulted a traffic control volunteer last week in Oak Lawn. Police are also asking local TV stations to play dash-cam video from the incident on the air again. We’ve posted a report from Fox containing the video, as well as DPD’s recycled bulletin from last week, after the jump.

Also, Instant Tea obtained additional information Tuesday about a robbery that occurred late Sunday night on Oak Lawn Avenue. According to Dallas police, when the victim exited his vehicle in the parking lot of Office Depot at 2929 Oak Lawn Ave., the suspect pointed a gun to his head and forced him back into the car. The suspect got in the back seat and told the victim to drive to the Bank of America at Haskell Avenue and North Central Expressway. When the victim was unable to withdraw cash from the ATM, the suspect struck him in the back of the head with the gun. The suspect then told the victim to drive to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Store at 2305 N. Central Expy., where the suspect forced the victim to go inside and withdraw $20. Finally, the suspect made the victim drop him off at Hall Street and the Central Expressway service road. Police initially believed the suspect may have been captured on video at Wal-Mart, but Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse informs us today that this is not the case. Again, per yesterday’s alert, the suspect is described as a black male about 40 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds. He has a scar under his right eye and was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a black hat. Anyone with information should call 214-671-4071 or 911.

—  John Wright

Dallas police report aggravated robbery at gunpoint in Oak Lawn late Sunday night

This just in from the Dallas Police Department:

Aggravated Robbery – Gun Point – 2900 Oak Lawn

Agg. Robbery occurred 9-26-10 @ 2900 Oak Lawn 11:00 p.m. Suspect forced the complainant into the complainant’s vehicle. Suspect entered the back seat and forced the complainant to drive to an ATM. Suspect struck complainant in the head with the gun and after several ATM attempts $20 was taken. Suspect exited the vehicle at Hall and Central Expwy.

Suspect:
B/M/40
220 Lbs.
5’5″
Scar Under Right Eye
Wearing white shirt, blue jeans, black hat

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 214-671-4071

—  John Wright

Police release photos of suspect who posed as U.S. marshal, put gun to man’s head in Oak Lawn

Dallas police are looking for a man who posed as a U.S. marshal and threatened a motorist with a black semi-automatic handgun near near Rawlins and Wellborn streets in Oak Lawn early Sunday morning. Below is the full alert from DPD, which was posted on Wednesday along with photos. A special thanks to DV’s Gary Karwacki for the heads-up on this one:

On September 19, 2010, at about 12:30 am, the pictured suspect was seen by a complainant performing a traffic stop in an unmarked, black Ford, 4 door sedan, at Lemmon Avenue and Wycliff Avenue.

The complainant suspected that the suspect was not a police officer and began to follow the suspect in order to obtain the license plate of the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle came to an abrupt stop at 3700 Rawlins and the suspect confronted the complainant.

When the complainant questioned the suspect’s identity, he replied by saying, “I am a U.S. Marshall”. The suspect then drew a black semi automatic handgun, with laser sights, and pointed it at the complainant’s head. The suspect then fled the location in the suspect vehicle and he remains at large. The Dallas Police Department is trying to identify this suspect and also would like to speak with the citizen the suspect had pulled over at Lemmon and Wycliff. Anyone with information regarding the below listed suspect or this incident, please contact the Dallas Police Department Crimes Against Persons Division at 214 671 3616 or call 9-1-1. This suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

Suspect: W/M 30, 5’11″, 190 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes

Vehicle: Ford 4D black in color with LED lights on the dash

Weapon: Black semi automatic handgun with laser sight

—  John Wright