Police arrest suspect in Oak Lawn robberies

Dominique Trevun Thornton

Dallas police arrested one man and are still looking for another believed to have robbed eight people in Oak Lawn early Sunday.

Phuc Nguyen, 20, was arrested Sunday after his vehicle was linked to the description of the vehicle involved in the robberies, Sr. Cpl. Sherri Jeffrey said.

The other suspect, described as a light-skinned Hispanic male in his 20s with a thin build, has not been arrested.

Police responded to the first robbery at about 1:45 a.m. in the 3300 block of Crestview Drive. Six people were held up by two men with handguns as they were walking inside the apartment complex from the parking lot, according to the police report.

The two suspects approached them and held them at gunpoint before fleeing with their wallets and cellphones.

An hour later, a woman called police to report that two suspects with similar descriptions had stolen her purse in the 5100 block of Vandelia Street. Around the same time, two more people were robbed in the 3100 block of Hudnall Street. Two suspects demanded they give them all their property, according to the report.

No one was injured in the robberies.

Dallas police also arrested a suspect in connection to the robberies along Katy Trail last weekend. Dominique Trevun Thornton, 22, was arrested Saturday after he was stopped for speeding in Grand Prairie.

Thornton is one of two men police believe robbed a man and a woman near the Katy Trail in the early hours of May 13 and a man running on the trail around 6 a.m. Police have since increased patrols along the trail.

The second man police are searching for is described as a black male in his 20s.  He is 5’8” – 6’2” tall and weighs 150-160 pounds. The men were reportedly seen in a gray four-door sedan, which police think could be a Chrysler or Chevy Impala.

—  Anna Waugh

Dallas police increase patrols along Katy Trail after 3 weekend robberies

UPDATE: Dallas police believe the robberies are related to 11 similar robberies committed by the same people in the past. Four of them occurred near Katy Trail based on crime analysis. Below is the description of the two men:

  • The first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 30 years old.  He is 5’8 – 6’2 tall and weighs 150-160 pounds.  He has been armed with a blue steel semi-automatic handgun.
  • The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 22 years old.  His is 5’8 -5’10 tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds.  He may have a gold tooth and moles near his eyes.  He has been armed with a silver colored semi-automatic handgun.
  • The suspect vehicle is gray/silver 4-door sedan.  The vehicle may be a Chrysler or Chevy Impala.

A man walking along Katy Trail near Fitzhugh Avenue. (Michael Stephens/Dallas Voice)

Dallas police are increasing patrols along the Katy Trail after three people were robbed at gunpoint in the area over the weekend.

Lt. Scott Walton sent out a statement Monday morning saying added patrols including more bicycle officers have been assigned to surrounding locations, and members of the Violent Crime Task Force will be in the area.

The first incident was reported on Saturday, when a 25-year-old man said he was approached by two males in a silver sedan around 11:30 p.m. in the 3700 block of Travis Street. The man was punched and threatened with a gun that was reportedly in one of the suspect’s jacket, according to the police report.

The victim was placed in a chokehold until he handed over his iPhone, credit cards and a small amount of cash in his possession before the suspects entered the backseat of the sedan and left.

A 28-year-old woman was held up at gunpoint in the early morning hours Sunday. She was robbed around 1:40 a.m. while leaving the Katy Trail Ice House in the 3100 block of Routh Street. The suspects escaped with her purse, iPhone and wallet.

Around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, a 34-year-old man was running on the trial when two black men described as approximately 25 years old approached him after entering through the gate at Blackburn Street, according to the report.

The suspects “sprinted” to catch up to the victim and pointed a pistol at his head until he handed over his iPhone. They left after making him lay down in the gravel.

In the police report, the man described his attackers as wearing all black. One had short hair, a gold tooth and possible moles near his eyes. The other was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt with black shorts and had a his hair styled in an “afro.”

Lin Wang, president of LGBT running club Front Runners Dallas, said the about 10 to15 people meet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays for a group run. He sent out an email Sunday warning the group that if they run outside of the group run, they should run with someone else for safety.

The robberies on and near the trial will not affect the Saturday morning run, he said.

“The good thing is we always do a group run so we seldom run alone,” he said. “Besides that, what can we do? This is the trail we use because of the location and available parking.”

Wang, who lives near the trail, said he runs six days a week and fears he could be a target, especially for possible violence because he does not bring anything of value with him. He runs around 6:30 a.m. but got a late start Sunday, he said.

He cautioned runners to not bring any money or phones in addition to running in groups and watching for suspicious people on the trail. He said many runners use their iPhones because of a popular speed-tracking app, but said for serious runners to instead use a running watch.

—  Anna Waugh

Forum tackling black LGBT violence after NE Dallas hate crime gets positive response

Pastor Alex Byrd, left, Sr. Cpl. Laura Martin, center, and Lt. Don Ham with Dallas police respond to questions at a LGBT safety forum at the United Black Ellument March 22. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Members of the black LGBT community voiced concerns about violence and police support at Thursday night’s forum.

The community hall-style meeting was at the United Black Ellument building in Deep Ellum in response to the March 13 northeast Dallas hate crime on Audelia Road and Forest Lane.

While police stressed the importance of reporting crimes and remaining active in neighborhood crime watches to specifically address their concerns within their community, those who attended mentioned the need for police to reach out to organizations.

U-BE program director Ruben Ramirez said the attendance of about 30 people was a positive showing despite the forum’s cancellation last minute on Monday due a power outage from weather conditions.

Ramirez said the most important thing that came from the community was the visibility of the African-American LGBT community and their communication and expectations with Dallas police, calling it “a great start to a community discussion that was long overdue.”

Senior Pastor at the Living Faith Covenant Church Alex Byrd led the forum’s discussion, which he said was “part of a greater conversation about violence against people just for being who they are.”

“These conversations are important, I think, for us to talk about it in our context and then to broaden that scope into the context of what’s happening in our various communities,” Byrd said.

Action steps were discussed at the end of the meeting to bring more awareness to the community about active black LGBT organizations by printing cards and distributing them, as well as becoming active in police diversity training.

“I think the conversation was very fluid and was definitely relevant to what’s going on in the community,” Ramirez said. “The community spoke and I believe the Dallas Police Department was able to address many of the issues.”

Sr. Cpl. Laura Martin, LGBT liaison officer for the DPD, said she thought the meeting went well because she brought police officers with her, so the group could see first-hand that more police are comfortable discussing LGBT issues and concerns.

After the meeting, she said many participants offered to volunteer to help with police training and expressed interest working with the LGBT task force. However, she said there still needs to be representation on crime watches so concerns are addressed directly to LGBT members’ communities.

Ramirez said other forums are likely to occur in the next couple of months after the action steps are worked out and greater involvement from the community is garnered.

—  Anna Waugh

Man charged with DWI after passing out at wheel, dragging firefighter who woke him in Oak Lawn

Aaron Scott Jenkins

Dallas police arrested a man early Tuesday morning after he allegedly dragged a firefighter with his vehicle after a scuffle near the Cedar Springs strip in Oak Lawn.

Aaron Scott Jenkins, 27, was arrested shortly after wrestling with 35-year-old Jesse Munoz, who was returning from a call with Dallas Fire-Rescue when he stopped behind a 2006 silver Mazda four-door car in the 3000 block of Douglas Avenue around 2:15 a.m., according to a Dallas police report.

When the light turned green, Munoz noticed the man driving the car in front of him was unconscious.

He tried to wake up the man before opening the driver’s side door, placing the vehicle in neutral and putting the parking brake on.

The man then woke up and told Munoz not to call police for help, but Munoz stated that he was going to call police, the report states. The man closed the door and began to wrestle with Munoz before putting his car in drive — and starting to drive off while still wresting with Munoz.

Munoz told police he was dragged for a few seconds before the man released him, scraping his arm on the man’s car. He declined medical treatment.

Police were dispatched at 2:30 a.m. and arrested Jenkins shortly after, a spokeswoman with the Dallas Police Department said. While the police report lists the offense as an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Jenkins was arrested for driving while intoxicated because Munoz’s injuries were only minor, she said.

Jenkins has since been released from the Dallas County Jail, according to jail records.

—  Anna Waugh

Another pedestrian hit on Cedar Springs

For the third time in six weeks, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on the Cedar Springs strip over the weekend.

This time, the victim reportedly is a 10-year-old girl, but her injuries aren’t believed to be life-threatening.

Dallas police said today they could provide few additional details about the accident. No offense report was generated since the driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene.

According to 911 call records, the incident was reported at 2:35 p.m. on Saturday and took place at 4100 Cedar Springs Road.

Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for DPD, said the unidentified victim was transported to Children’s Medical Center.

“From what I can tell by the notes on the call sheet, the child had non-life threatening injuries, but may have had possible broken bones, but it does not say which bones,” Janse said.

Dallas Voice is working to obtain an accident report from DPD’s Open Records Division.

Unconfirmed eyewitness accounts forwarded to the newspaper indicate the victim is a 10-year-old girl who had just exited a school bus from a field trip and was struck by a pickup truck.

Two pedestrians were killed last month on the Cedar Springs strip in accidents involving hit-and-run drivers. Wayne Priest, 55, died after being struck Nov. 3 near Cedar Springs and Reagan Street. Edward Lee King, 61, was hit Nov. 25 near Cedar Springs and Knight Street.

In response to the deadly accidents — the first in recent memory on the strip — Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt has asked city staff to look at ways to make the area safer for pedestrians.

 

—  John Wright

Investigation continues into 2nd fatal hit-and-run on Cedar Springs

LGBT liaison officer says police have ‘good information’ from witnesses; Hunt says efforts to improve safety ‘must be expedited’

HUNT.ANGELA

ANGELA HUNT

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

Dallas police are continuing their investigation this week into the Nov. 25 hit-and-run on Cedar Springs Road that claimed the life of Edward Lee King, 61.

LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin said police reports indicate King was crossing from the west side to the east side, in the middle of the 4100 block of Cedar Springs, near the Knight Street intersection, around 10:30 p.m., when he was struck by a dark-colored SUV traveling south.

The vehicle, described by witnesses as possibly a Land Rover or a Range Rover with wraparound taillights, sped off without stopping and turned east on Throckmorton Street.

Martin said police have “some pretty good information” from witnesses and hope to locate the driver of the vehicle soon.

King, known to family and friends as Joe, worked part time at Amico Pizza, located on Cedar Springs near the site of the accident. He was the second person to be killed within a three-block area of Cedar Springs in November.

Wayne Priest, 55, was killed Nov. 3 in a hit-and-run near the intersection of Cedar Springs and Reagan Street.

Martin said that the two incidents in November were the second and third traffic incidents involving pedestrians between the 3800 block and the 4200 block of Cedar Springs this year. The first occurred in January, but Martin said the pedestrian in that incident was not seriously injured, according to reports she had seen.

Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt, whose District 14 lines the east side of Cedar Springs Road where both fatalities occurred, said this week that city officials continue to search for ways to improve safety in the high-traffic entertainment district.

Following Priest’s death early in the month, Hunt told Dallas Voice she had asked city officials to “look into exactly what happened and to make recommendations about how we can move forward in making the area safer.”

This week, following King’s death, Hunt said those efforts “have to be expedited. This is obviously a situation that needs immediate attention.”

She said the city is looking at other cities to see how they have addressed the issue of pedestrian safety in similar areas.

“There are a range of issues involved,” Hunt said. “I am no expert. But we have to find an expedited and thoughtful solution.”
Councilwoman Pauline Medrano, who represents District 2 on the west side of Cedar Springs, did not return calls this week seeking comment.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

UPDATE: DPD releases photos of suspect vehicle in latest hit-and-run fatality

Dallas Police this afternoon released photos, above, of the vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run at about 10:30 p.m. Friday night, Nov. 25, on Cedar Springs.

The statement released this afternoon said that the victim was in the crosswalk in the intersection of Cedar Springs Avenue and Knight Street when the accident occurred. The man was taken by ambulance to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:53 p.m. LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin said there are two crosswalks at the Knight/Cedar Springs, one is marked and one is not. She said the victim was in the unmarked crosswalk.

Photos of the suspect vehicle, taken from a camera at a nearby business, are dark, low-resolution, grainy images. But police said witnesses described the vehicle as dark colored, possibly a Land Rover or Range Rover SUV, with wraparound tail lights. After striking the victim, the car, which was in the southbound lane, sped away and turned left, or east, on Throckmorton Street.

Although the victim’s last name was included in police reports available to the public, in the statement released this afternoon officials said the man is not being identified because relatives have not yet been notified of his death.

Police ask that anyone with any information about the incident or the whereabouts of the vehicle in the photos contact detectives in the vehicles crimes department at 214-670-5817.

This was the 78th traffic fatality investigated by the Dallas Police Department this year, according to the statement. It is the second hit-and-run fatality on Cedar Springs this month. In the first, Wayne Priest, 55, was crossing Cedar Springs at Reagan on Nov. 3, when he was hit by a driver who then drove away. Priest was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he died later that same night.

The suspect vehicle in that incident was a maroon, four-door vehicle. Police have no suspects in that incident.

—  admin

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

WATCH: Occupy Dallas in 90 seconds

So Rich Lopez and I literally took a swing past the Occupy Dallas demonstration in front of the Federal Reserve Bank on Pearl Street during the lunch hour, and below is what we saw.

It starts off kinda slow, with us sitting at a red light on the Woodall Rodgers service road, and a lone Ron Paul supporter shouting through a megaphone in our direction. (Talk about getting co-opted!!!)

But hang in there because things get pretty intense as we make the turn onto Pearl and a Dallas police officer, noticing Rich with the Flip camera in the passenger seat, yells, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”

As you can see, there was a fairly solid line of demonstrators behind the barricades facing Pearl for an entire block, and when we complied with their demands to blow the horn, there was quite a response.

Consider Dallas occupied.

—  John Wright

Murder suspect captured after Oak Lawn robbery

William Langrum

A suspect who was captured after committing an aggravated robbery in Oak Lawn last week is now charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of a Lake Highlands woman, according to Dallas police.

William Langrum, 27, was arrested Sept. 21 following a chase that began in the 2800 block of Douglas Avenue, when undercover officers observed Langrum and another suspect steal a bag of clothes from a victim at knifepoint. After eluding officers in their vehicle and on foot, Langrum and his accomplice, 18-year-old Jeremy Francis, were apprehended in the 7100 block of Lemmon Avenue.

Police say evidence recovered at the scene of the Douglas Avenue robbery linked Langrum to the murder of Shearl Bennett, who’d been fatally stabbed outside her Lake Highlands home about an hour before. Bennett was returning home from church at about 10:45 p.m. Sept. 21 when she was stabbed outside her car in the 9800 block of Royal Lane.

On Monday, detectives charged Langrum with capital murder in Bennett’s death. Both Langrum and Bennett also face charges of aggravated robbery and evading arrest in connection with the Douglas Avenue robbery.

“It was a good catch over in Oak Lawn,” said Laura Martin, DPD’s LGBT liaison officer. “We’ve had officers over there on special assignment a lot because we’ve been having issues with robberies.”

—  John Wright