Delivering school supplies to Oak Lawn schools

Members of Rainbow LULAC and Congregation Beth El Binah delivered school supplies to Oak Lawn schools this morning. After heavy cartons of paper and notebooks were loaded into pickups and unloaded at their destination, Councilman Adam Medrano arrived at Rusk Middle School on Inwood Road in time to help carry boxes of tissues.

In addition to Rusk, the group delivered supplies to Maple Lawn Elementary School on Inwood Road and Sam Houston School on Throckmorton Street. Staff at Maple Lawn said they need volunteers after school for clubs and to help children with their homework from 3:15 until 4:30 p.m.

Rainbow LULAC organized the school supply drive. President Alejandro Trevino said he’s looking for more groups to participate in next year’s school supply drive. Groups may either donate supplies or cash that will be used to buy supplies for area schools.

—  David Taffet

McKinney Avenue Sun Fresh Market purchased by H-E-B

Albertson's

Sun Fresh Market on McKinney Avenue when it was operating as Albertson’s

The former Albertson’s that is currently operating as Sun Fresh Market on McKinney at Lemmon avenues was purchased by H-E-B, the San Antonio-based supermarket chain that operates locally as Central Market.

Central Market purchased property to build a supermarket on Lemmon Avenue between Reagan and Throckmorton streets in Oak Lawn. Several buildings on the land have been cleared, but LaMadeleine is still operating and construction on the supermarket has stalled.

According to the Dallas Morning News, H-E-B is deciding whether to operate the McKinney Avenue store as a Central Market or H-E-B.

The McKinney Avenue Albertson’s store was among the stores sold when Albertson’s purchased Safeway, which owned Tom Thumb to avoid anti-trust review.

Sun Fresh Market is currently closing and it may be several months before the store reopens under an H-E-B brand. H-E-B purchased a total of six Sun Fresh stores in the DFW area and already operates five Central Markets in the area.

Read more about food in this Friday’s Food Issue of Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

Rain causes Oak Lawn parking garage to collapse

Taylor Apartments

Photo courtesy of Brandon Hillhouse.

I don’t have much information yet, but I have received word that the sudden downpour that hit the Oak Lawn area around 6 p.m. has caused the parking garage at the Taylor Apartments to collapse.

Taylor Apartments are located at 3100 Carlisle St. Stay tuned for details.

—  Tammye Nash

Police investigating robbery in Oak Lawn

Screen shot 2016-06-20 at 2.43.50 PM

The latest attack in Oak Lawn happened about 1:45 a.m. today, in the 3300 block of Throckmorton Street, between Hall and Rawlins streets

Another person has been attacked in Oak Lawn, according to Dallas Police Department. As in other assaults, the victim was again attacked from behind.

Police said the victim “had left an establishment and was returning to his car” in the 3300 block of Throckmorton Street — which is the block between Hall and Rawlins streets — at about 1:45 a.m. today (Monday, June 20) when two suspects approached him from behind and knocked him to the ground. The victim told police that the two men immediately began patting down his pockets, and that they didn’t say anything.

When the victim told the attackers that he didn’t have anything for them to steal, they “fled northbound on Rawlins Street.”

Police said the victim was unable to give a description of the suspects because they attacked him from behind.

Anyone with information is asked to call the DPD Robbery Unit at 214-671-3584

Robbery on Throckmorton Street

On June 20, 2016, at approximately 1:45 a.m., the victim was leaving an establishment and returning to his car  in the 3300 block of Throckmorton Street.  As the victim walked past an alley,  two unknown suspects  approached him from behind  and knocked him to the ground. The suspects struck the victim and immediately began to pat down his pockets.  The suspects did not say anything to the victim during the offense. The victim told the suspects that he did not have anything. The suspects fled northbound on Rawlins Street. The victim was not able to make out a race, gender or any description of the suspects due to being assaulted from behind. This is an ongoing investigation. This offense is documented on case number 148758-2016.

If anyone has any information about this offense they are asked to contact the Dallas Police Robbery Unit (214) 671-3584.

—  Tammye Nash

Gay man attacked in SoHiP neighborhood of Oak Lawn

TakeBackOakLawnAt 2 a.m. this morning (May 26), a man was attacked at the corner of Bowser and Prescott in the neighborhood south of Highland Park. This was a different type of attack that previous ones reported and a different Oak Lawn neighborhood.

According to Fox News, someone jumped out of a red SUV, punched the victim in the eye, then jumped back in the car and sped off.

Here’s the information police released:

Assault at 5000 Bowser Avenue

On May 26, 2016 at about 2 a.m., the victim was walking home from a bar in the 5000 block of Bowser Avenue when an unidentified suspect exited a red or maroon SUV and assaulted him causing injury to his eye and ankle. Throughout the attack the suspect did not say anything, nor did he attempt to take the victim’s property. The suspect then re-entered the SUV and drove away.

The individual that suffered this attack so far has been unable to provide any additional information. It is early in the investigation and the detective will be canvassing the area for video and potential witnesses.  Anyone with information regarding this offense is encouraged to contact Detective McKnight-Bell at (214) 671-3600.

—  David Taffet

Man attacked near ilume over the weekend classified as hate crime

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Craig Knapp, a resident of ilume on Cedar Springs Road, was attacked between 4:10 and 4:15 a.m. on Saturday morning (April 30) as he was walking his neighbor’s dog.

Knapp told WFAA Channel 8 that the two men who attacked him on Douglas Avenue near his building used anti-gay slurs. One of the attackers hit him in the face, and he said even though he offered him his wallet and his phone to keep them from hurting him, they took nothing.

Knapp also told WFAA this is the second time he was attacked. We have not spoken to the victim yet and haven’t found another recent police report on an earlier attack.

Detectives canvassed the area after the attack was reported, and have asked businesses in the area if their cameras caught footage of the attack or attackers.

From the Dallas Police blog, here is a fuller description of the attack and of the suspects:

On April 30, 2016, at about 4:30 a.m., a male victim was walking his dog in the area around the 3000 block of Douglas Avenue. The victim was approached by two suspects, a Black male 6’1” with a gold tooth wearing “skinny jeans” and a Latin male of unknown description. The Black male suspect asked the victim what the dog’s name was and when the victim answered, the Black male suspect made a derogatory comment about the victim’s perceived sexual orientation and shoved the victim to the ground causing scrapes to the victim’s face.

Both suspects then fled the location in an unknown direction. The comments made by the suspect indicate this was a crime of bias and will be classified as such. The assault itself is a Class A Misdemeanor and this is the third bias crime reported in the Oak Lawn area since September 2015.

Detectives from the Assaults Unit followed up with the victim over the weekend and canvassed the immediate area looking for video and witnesses to the offense.

Anyone with information regarding this offense or these suspects is asked to contact the Dallas Police Department’s Assaults Unit at 214-671-3584. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477).

—  David Taffet

DA Hawk schedules another Oak Lawn Town Hall

Hawk.Susan

Dallas County DA Susan Hawk

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk will hold a second Oak Lawn Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 25, 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Hawk held the first town hall in mid-December to address the rash of attacks happening in the gayborhood and to hear residents’ concerns and questions.

In a press statement released today (Monday, Aug. 18), the D.A. said she is holding the April 25 meeting because, “I wanted to meet with Oak Lawn area community members, again, to follow up with them regarding the safety concerns they presented at our December Town Hall meeting, Our office wants to remain a consistent resource for our community, and to do that we can’t just show up once. We have to keep the lines of communication open and continue to have a presence.”

Hawk said she will update the community on office initiatives and on programs and resources in place to help the LGBT community and Dallas County in general. She will also address ongoing concerns about the attacks last fall. No arrests have been made yet in any of those assaults.

Hawk said at that December meeting that she lived in the Oak Lawn area and had often walked her dog near the location of one of the attacks. Because of that, she added, the attacks in the area “are personal.”

—  Tammye Nash

Equality Texas premieres hate crime video at Dallas Police HQ

DPD

Michael Dominguez, from left, Burke Burnett, Councilman Adam Medrano, D.A. Susan Hawk, Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith and Equality Texas board chair Steve Rudner at Dallas Police Headquarters to introduce a new hate crime video.

Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith introduced a new video in a press conference at Dallas Police headquarters this morning (Monday, April 11) to mark the beginning of National Crime Victims Rights week. The five-minute video focuses on last fall’s rash of attacks on gay men in Oak Lawn.

Survivor Michael Dominguez and Burke Burnett, who was attacked in a hate crime in Paris, Texas in 2011, are featured in the video and were on hand to talk about the group SOS created to help area crime victims.

Smith said the first murder of a trans person in the U.S. this year took place in Austin. Another was killed this weekend in Houston. He pointed to campaign rhetoric and discussions going on in state legislatures related to anti-LGBT discrimination laws as contributing to the violence.

Referring to the video, Dallas City Councilman Adam Medrano said, “They haven’t caught anybody. That bothers me.” But he pointed out positive steps that have been taken including the creation of SOS, the increase of people participating in Volunteers on Patrol in Oak Lawn from 5 to 25.

“We work best when we work together,” Sheriff Lupe Valdez said. “No one deserves to be a victim. A beating, abuse is never acceptable.”

“The DA’s office will not accept violence against any group whatsoever,” District Attorney Susan Hawk said. “If we believe we can prove a hate crime, we will prosecute.”

Michael Dominguez said he’s seen the community work with police over the last six months and said the city functions better when groups work together. Dominguez has been the most vocal of SOS members.

“I refuse to let this happen in the city where I chose to live,” Dominguez said. “No one should live in fear.”

Maj. Max Geron of the DPD credited an increase in patrols with a decrease in the violence. He said the unreported attacks are concerning.

“Give us an opportunity to hear what you have to say and investigate the crime,” he said.

OAK LAWN HATE CRIMES (with bug, lower 3rd supers) from RED MEDIA GROUP on Vimeo.

—  David Taffet

Police seeking suspects in attempted rape

Police bulletinDallas police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men who broke into a woman’s Oak Lawn area apartment early this morning (Friday, April 8), and attempted to rape her.

Police say the woman was asleep in the bedroom of her apartment in the 2900 block of King’s Road, just off Cedar Springs Road, when she woke up just after 5:30 a.m. to find two men in her bedroom.

One of the men was kneeling on top of the woman and holding her legs down while the second was standing by her bed. When the woman began to scream, the two suspects escaped through an open bedroom window.

Both suspects were described as Latin males in their late 20s to early 30s. Both were about 5 feet, 3 inches tall and both weighed between 140 and 160 pounds. One suspect was wearing a black sweatshirt and the other was wearing a black jacket with blue horizontal stripes across the chest and sleeves.

Police are asking that anyone with any information regarding this case call Det. H. Barton with the Dallas Police Sex Assault Unit at 214-671-3685.

—  Tammye Nash

Robbery suspect killed outside Whataburger on Lemmon Ave.

WhatburgerPolice were called to a shooting in the parking lot of Whataburger at 5500 Lemmon Ave. at about 1 a.m. this morning (Thursday, March 17).

At least one suspect tried to rob an armed security guard. The guard shot and killed the man. Police found a handgun on the suspect.

A second person may have been involved. Police have the second person in custody and are questioning him at Dallas Police headquarters.

The Whataburger is on the corner of Lemmon Avenue and Versailles Street about a block south of Inwood Road in Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet