UPDATE: Rape victim speaks out

The woman attacked inside a bathroom stall at S4 over the weekend told Dallas Voice today (Tuesday, Jan. 19), that the attack “went way beyond sexual assault. It was a rape.”

Prince Karim

Prince Karim, suspect in rape at S4

The young woman, whose name is being withheld for her privacy, said she went to the Cedar Springs nightclub Saturday night, Jan. 16, with her female fiancee and her fiancee’s co-worker. She had become separated from them in the crowd when she met Prince Karim, a 31-year-old Middle Eastern man that she assumed — based on the way he was dressed, his hairstyle and the fact that he was in a gay bar — was a gay man.

The woman said she and Karim went out onto the S4 patio to smoke, and that while they were there, she realized that he was not gay and that he was hitting on her. “He told me he loves black women [the victim is black] and that he isn’t gay. He asked me if I had thought he was gay and if he looked gay. I told him yes, and that if he didn’t want people to think he was gay, maybe he should dress differently.”

The woman said she went back inside the club then to try to get away from Karim, but that he followed her inside. She said she was on her phone, calling and texting her fiancee and their friend to tell them he was following her and she had become afraid of him. When she couldn’t find her fiancee right away, the woman said she went into the bathroom — not realizing it was a unisex bathroom — to try and escape Karim.

“But he started following me inside. I pushed him out and said, ‘You can’t come in here,'” the woman said. “But he followed me in.”

She said she went into the stall and stood with her back to the door to keep him out. But Karim, she said, then crawled underneath the wall and into the stall with her, where he raped her. “They are saying it was a sexual assault,” the distraught woman said. “This goes way beyond just an assault. This was rape.”

The woman reported the assault to S4 security personnel who found Karim and held him until police arrived. He was jailed at Dallas County Jail on $25,000 bond, but appears to have posted bond and been released.

The victim said that Karim told her he lives in Los Angeles and was visiting Dallas “just partying with his cousin.” However, a public records search incidates that a man named Prince Karim, with the same birthdate as the arrested suspect, lives in an apartment in Southwest Arlington and has a Texas driver’s license.

The victim also said that the photo of Karim supplied by Dallas police “is not the same photo of him that they gave me. That’s not what he looked like that night. It’s not what he looked like when he was arrested.” (The photo with this post is the photo provided by Dallas police. We will update the post with the other photo once we receive it.)

 

Dallas PD’s LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin has pointed out that “sexual assault” and “rape” are two different terms for the same thing. “Sexual assault” is the penal code language for “rape,” and any forced sexual contact is considered rape. For a complete legal definition, check here, and scroll down Section 22.011.

—  Tammye Nash

Friday night in the gayborhood: The mayor, police make their presence known

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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, right, speaks with staff and patrons inside Alexandre’s on Friday night.

After an assault on Thursday night, Nov. 19, made Geoffrey Hubbard the 12th person attacked in Oak Lawn since Sept. 1, Dallas police announced a plan for increasing police presence in the gayborhood to try to stem the rash of violence.

As these photos from Dallas Voice Associate Advertising Manager Chad Mantooth show, Dallas police were a very visible presence in the area on Friday night, Nov. 20, one night after the attack on Hubbard. And Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings joined the effort, walking the Cedar Springs Strip and visiting with patrons in various nightclubs.

“Anytime, any one neighborhood has an intensity of crimes like this, you’ve got to take it very seriously,” Rawlings said.

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—  Tammye Nash

Rally planned Sunday outside DPD headquarters to protest lack of response to Oak Lawn attacks

Light UpDaniel Scott Cates, one of the main organizers for the Nov. 1 Light Up Oak Lawn march down Cedar Springs, announced today (Friday, Nov. 20), that activists are planning another rally to call for an increased police presence in Oak Lawn following a wave of robberies and assaults over the last three months.

The rally will be held at the DPD headquarters, 1400 S. Lamar St., at 7 p.m. Cates said those attending should bring “signs, flags, drums, people, voices.”

“Since Sept. 20, there have now been 15 reported violent assaults on gay men in Oak Lawn,” Cates said in a Facebook post announcing the rally. “Survivors have been beaten with bats, stabbed with box cutters, pistol whipped and pummeled with fists. In several of these attacks, homophobic language has been used by the assailants.”

Despite Dallas Police promises to increase patrols and visibility in the gayborhood, Cates said “such an increase has been spotty and largely invisible.” He also noted that no arrests have been made in connection with the assaults.

In contrast, Cates noted that within two weeks of a weekend-long spate of armed robberies on the Katy Trail, there were “cruisers driving the path, mounted patrols, bicycle units and arrests. Uptown gets visible, swift action for a handful of crimes while the LGBTQIA community lives for months in terror behind 15 violent attacks!?”

Dallas Police released a statement earlier today detailing the department’s plan to increase patrols and police presence, including the formation of a task force. Read about it here.

—  Tammye Nash

DPD details stepped-up efforts in Oak Lawn

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DPD’s LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin

Dallas Police Department’s LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin has just provided Dallas Voice with a statement detailing the department’s plan for increasing patrols to improve safety in Oak Lawn, following a rash of violent robberies in the gayborhood over the last three months. The most recent attack, which happened shortly before midnight last night (Thursday, Nov.19), sent Geoffrey Hubbard to the hospital with head injuries.

The attack on Hubbard came just hours after the most recent meeting between DPD officials and area residents and business owners, and the community reacted this morning (Friday, Nov. 20), with anger and frustration. Some people even announced their intentions to arm themselves with guns and patrol the area themselves this weekend — an idea Martin warned against.

The statement from Dallas Police reads:

“With a series of violent crimes occurring in the Oak Lawn area, the Dallas Police Department has stepped up its efforts to prevent any more individuals from being victimized. In addition to increased community collaboration with citizens, crime watch groups and businesses, the department has increased police presence in the area. The department is utilizing the intelligence unit and increased staffing in the area, which includes four bicycle officers, 15 police officers (some working in an undercover capacity) and two sergeants who report to the major at the Northwest Division.

“While working to prevent any further violent offenses in the Oak Lawn area, the officers have made seven arrests, but none are related to the violent offenses that have occurred. The department has put together a task force that includes investigators from assault and robbery units along with detectives from intelligence, patrol officers and undercover officers that will be assigned to the Oak Lawn area.”

—  Tammye Nash

No respect

Chad-MantoothLate-night brawl in the neighborhood raises questions, concerns

Chad Mantooth  |  Special Contributor

Respect is earned, not given. This is a thought I had over the weekend after a night out on the town.

I go down to the Cedar Springs area often, both for work and for fun. Because of where I work (the Dallas Voice), I think I’m knowledgeable what goes on in our community, and I consider myself pretty well informed. And the 11 attacks that have happened over the last two months have me concerned, just like everyone else. I want our neighborhood to be a safe place for everyone to come and play.

This past Saturday (Nov7), I went out with friends for a night of fun and laughs — and hopefully to find the love of my life. We all had a good time, making our way up and down Cedar Springs, checking out the various bars along the length of The Strip. The bars were full, and I had no sense of foreboding, no idea that things might go wrong.

But at the end of the night, go wrong they did. After a fun-filled night of drinking and dancing, my night turned to shit.

My friends and I decided to wind up our evening by getting some pizza at Italia Express, right there at the heart of the Crossroads.

While sitting on the patio, we witnessed a group of about 10 people got into a shouting match in front of Havana next door. The group moved to the space in front of Italia Express as the dispute continued and the argument got louder and louder — until someone threw the first punch.

I looked around, searching for any security or police on the street. In the past, I’ve seen a private security guard or two on the street (especially after 2 a.m.), or the occasional Dallas Police Department cruiser driving by.

But I didn’t see anyone of authority this time.

The argument escalated, people began punching each other left and right, with no regard to traffic or any innocent passersby that got in their way. It quickly turned into a mob scene, the fight moving from in front of Italia Express to the middle of the intersection at Cedar Springs and Throckmorton, blocking traffic on all sides before migrating over in front of Hunky’s.

I pulled out my phone and called 911.  The operator told me, “We’ve got officers on the way.”

The fight continued … and continued … and continued.

More people pulled out their phones, mostly to video the ever-growing fight. I was dumbfounded; the fight was getting bigger and bigger, but there were no police officers in sight. I heard no sirens, saw no flashing red-and-blue lights.

Considering all the attacks that have happened recently in the gayborhood, I really expected that there would be officers patrolling nearby. I was shocked to realize there wasn’t a police presence already in the area.

Why weren’t there officers nearby? We’ve been told by DPD that there would be increased patrols, more officers on hand. Were we lied to?

I called 911 a second time and the dispatcher told me there was already an officer “on scene.”  I sure didn’t see any officers there. I didn’t see anyone of authority. And the fight continued: More punches were thrown; more hair was pulled.

The while situation had reached the level of being ridiculous and sad. Why are we in the community fighting with each other this way? Don’t we already have enough problems with threats from outside our community?

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, one DPD car came rolling down Cedar Springs. The officer drove past the fight on the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs and parked behind in the lot behind the Subway. That gave the plenty of time for the drunken brawlers to scatter like roaches in the night.

To my knowledge, nobody was arrested and nobody went to jail.

I left the strip that night filled with disgust. I was disgusted with those involved in the street brawl. I was disgusted by the lack of any police presence on The Strip. I was just disgusted in general. And I was angry.

I respect law enforcement; I know the police have a hard job to do every day of the week. But still I am left feeling that we — the LGBT community — aren’t respected by those that have taken that oath to “protect and serve”?

I don’t think I anyone should ever be punched, especially someone of my own community. We need to come together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in times like this, not toe-to-toe! If we can’t respect each other, how in the hell can we expect respect from those outside our community?

Now is the time that we must lift each other up and not punch each other down. And if this infighting and disrespectful behavior continues, my fear is the whole neighborhood will go down swinging.

Chad Mantooth is associate advertising director for Dallas Voice. He lives in the Oak Lawn area.

—  Tammye Nash

Police searching for missing Oak Cliff man

Ron Shumway

Ron Shumway

Dallas Police today (Tuesday, Oct. 27) reissued a call for help from the public in locating Ronald Shumway, an Oak Cliff man who has been missing since April 25.

“Mr. Shumway resides at 725 N. Winnetka Avenue and he has not been seen or heard from since April 23, 2015,” according to a post entered today on the Dallas Police Department blog. Anyone with information on Shumway or his whereabouts is asked to call Detective Montenegro at 214-671-3624, in the DPD’s Homicide division.

A quick check of Shumway’s Facebook page shows a flurry of entries in the days leading up to his disappearance. On April 22, he posted an entry thanking friends for the birthday wishes. He posted a photo of a bumper sticker supporting Hillary Clinton on April 23, and on April 24 he changed his profile photo. The page hasn’t been updated since.

—  Tammye Nash

DPD warns on ‘phishing’ scam using chief’s name

Chief David O. Brown

Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown

If you get an email from Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown asking for donations and wanting you to give out personal banking information, guess what: That email isn’t from Chief Brown and it isn’t a legitimate fundraising effort.

Dallas Police know these emails are going around, and they are warning the public against responding in any way. According to a post on the DPD Blog:

“The Dallas Police Department is aware that the public is receiving ‘spoofing’ or ‘phishing’ emails that have the appearance of being sent from Chief David O. Brown. These emails are fraudulent and should not be replied to.

“The Cybercrime Unit of the FBI is currently investigating this issue.

“The Dallas Police Department would never ask for personal banking information in an email. If you receive one of these fraudulent emails, please delete it.

If you are a victim of this crime, please contact the Dallas Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unite at 214-67-3517.”

—  Tammye Nash

Oak Lawn to get 10 new police cams

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A police camera will be placed at Cedar Springs Road at Oak Lawn Avenue.

According to a memo issued by City Manager A. C. Gonzalez, the Dallas Police Department will add 90 new cameras around the city, including 10 in Oak Lawn. DPD already monitors 257 cameras around the city.

The memo notes that the locations for the new cams will be:

• Lemmon/Wycliff
• Lemmon/Douglas
• Lemmon/Oak Lawn
• Rawlins/Oak Lawn
• Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs
• Maple/Wycliff
• Maple/Kings
• Cedar Springs/Throckmorton
• Maple/Lucas
• Maple/Oak Lawn

Southern Oak Cliff will also get 10 cams in the Hampton/Kiest to Ledbetter neighborhoods.

—  David Taffet

Man found murdered in West Dallas

Tony Sanchez

Photos of Tony Sanchez, taken from his Facebook page

Dallas Police are investigating the murder of Tony Sanchez, a 51-year-old man found dead Saturday, July 11, in his apartment at the Budget Suites on North Walton Walker Freeway at Singleton Boulevard.

Roger Herrera, attorney and one-time Dallas mayoral candidate, said today (Monday, July 13) that Sanchez was a gay man who had been an AIDS activist and LGBT community activist.

According to information released by police, officers responded to the Budget Suites at about 2:13 p.m. Saturday after a friend of Sanchez’s, unable to reach him by phone, went to his apartment and found him dead. Homicide detectives responding to the scene determined that Sanchez “died as a result of homicidal violence.”

Police have no information on a potential suspect, according to reports, and the investigation is ongoing. Dallas Voice has requested more information and will update this post as information becomes available.

Herrera said Monday that he first met Sanchez in 1993 and that the two had become close friends over the years. “In fact, when I ran for mayor in 2007, he put all my campaign signs together for me,” Herrera said.

The attorney said Sanchez had “worked at Hunky’s for a while, way back when,” and that he had been involved with Oak Lawn Community Services, an AIDS services organization. He said Sanchez usually worked in customer service positions with call centers and “I believe that one of his temporary jobs had recently turned into a permanent position.”

Herrera said he hadn’t seen Sanchez “in a while,” and that he had sent his friend a text around noon on Saturday to “see about getting together for dinner or something. But he never responded.” The attorney said he got a call from a mutual friend about 2:30 p.m. telling him that Sanchez had been found dead in his apartment, “but I didn’t know that he had been murdered until I saw the news reports about it later on.”

—  Tammye Nash

Woman charged with assault after argument erupts in gunfire

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Katara Walker

A Dallas woman has been charged with aggravated assault and deadly conduct following an argument with her girlfriend early Sunday morning, June 28, that ended in gunfire.

According to the Dallas Police Department blog, at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Katara Walker, 30, and her 28-year-old girlfriend, Joy Johnson, got into an argument inside their apartment in the 9300 block of Skillman Avenue.

Police reports said when the argument escalated, Walker “produced a handgun” and fired several rounds at Johnson. Johnson was not struck by any of the shots, but several did go through the wall and into an adjacent apartment.

Johnson ran from the scene and called police. Responding officers established a perimeter around the apartment and called in SWAT. At about 4:45 a.m., a SWAT negotiator was able to make contact with Walker, convincing her to surrender without any further trouble.

According to the Dallas County website, Walker remains in custody, with her total bond set at $26,500 — $25,000 on the aggravated assault charge and $1,500 on the deadly conduct charge.

—  Tammye Nash