UPDATE: Police investigating hate as possible motive for graffiti as more taggings found


Det. Kevin Janse at Dallas Police headquarters

Dallas Police are looking into hate as a possible motive for graffiti found early Sunday around Oak Lawn on buildings housing print media offices.

The Legacy of Love Monument and Cathedral of Hope were targeted by taggers with “666” in red spray paint. The Cedar Springs bridge over the tollway was also tagged, as were at least two Dallas Voice distribution boxes.

Chris Kelley, spokesman for Cathedral of Hope, said the church was tagged in two places — on its sign along the street and in the parking lot. By Sunday afternoon, the paint at Cathedral and on the monument had been removed by volunteers.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer and D magazine buildings were also tagged. Ironically, the building housing Dallas Voice was not touched.

Det. Kevin Janse said police have no leads but hope as word spreads about the graffiti, someone will come forward and provide some clues. He said he hopes whoever did this will start bragging about it when he sees the coverage it’s getting and someone will contact police with a lead.

The spray painting occurred late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Janse said police checked video from the Exxon station on Oak Lawn Avenue, but its video did not catch activity at the Observer building across the street.

Officer W.C. Humphrey, who attended the press conference, told Dallas Voice that graffiti is not uncommon, but the particular “666” message at the specific sites is unusual.

Janse said anyone with information about these or additional taggings should contact Dallas LGBT police liaison Laura Martin at 214-490-0541.

Legacy graffiti

—  David Taffet

Scenes from Razzle Dazzle Dallas 2014




—  C Marcelo

Police ask for help in identifying murderer of Joshua Tubbleville

tubb-publicDallas Police released the video below of an individual fleeing from murder victim Joshua Tubbleville’s wrecked vehicle. Detectives need help identifying the individual shown in the footage.

He’s described as a black male 6’1″ tall, in his early 20s.  He was seen wearing tan pants, a yellow shirt with a red stripe and a leopard print baseball cap. If anyone has information on this offense, please contact Det. Sayers at 214-671-3647.

—  David Taffet

‘Crazy Mary’ remains in jail on criminal trespass charges

Crazy Mary

LaCheryl Wilson, affectionately known in Oak Lawn as “Crazy Mary”

LaCheryl Wilson, 61, affectionately known in Oak Lawn as “Crazy Mary,” is in jail on a criminal trespass charge. She was picked up on May 25 and remains in Lew Sterrett Justice Center on a $500 bond.

Wilson has a long arrest record that goes back to 1982 for small charges such as theft of services and criminal trespass on a property or in a building. One arrest lists prostitution. Many of the charges were dismissed and others resolved with an agreement to plead guilty. One charge was no billed, and in another, she was found not guilty by a judge. Court records show she was found incompetent in 1983.

Wilson is homeless and has been a Cedar Springs fixture for more than 30 years.

During the early years of her life on Cedar Springs, she was not treated kindly. Today, most store owners and bar patrons look out for her.

Danny Sikora, owner of Thairrific, said stops in regularly for tea. He always serves her and he said sometimes she even pays him a few cents. She’s often seen resting on the patio at Starbucks on Lemmon and Rawlins and stops in Super Cuts for lotion.

More than 500 people follow her on a Facebook page created to make sure she’s OK. In winter, they’ve gotten her a coat and other times just check on her well-being. A recent post complained about a restaurant that kicked her out.

Police in the area know her and are always gentle with her. If they need to pick her up, they usually transport her to Parkland to stabilize her medication. She’s only taken to jail when a complaint is filed.

Criminal trespass is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalty can be $2,000 or 180 days in jail. Wilson would be unable to pay a fine and is unlikely to receive a 6 month sentence.

—  David Taffet

One dead in shooting at Oak Lawn and Lemmon

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 9.45.02 AM

(Fox 4 News)

Dallas police officers responded to a call at 5:42 a.m. at the Shell station at the corner of Oak Lawn and Lemmon Avenue on Friday.

According to a police spokesman, the first responder at the scene found a car crashed into a tree at the station and noticed the driver had a gunshot wound. He was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A police official said there are indications that the shot was fired from within the vehicle, making the driver lose control and crash. Witnesses said after the crash a black male exited the vehicle and left on foot in an unknown direction.

Police are waiting for a report from homicide.

—  David Taffet

Dallas celebrates Harvey Milk Day on Cedar Springs

About 150 people joined a Harvey Milk Day celebration that began with speakers and performers at the Legacy of Love monument on Oak Lawn and was followed by a march down Cedar Springs Road and a reception at Sue Ellen’s. The event was organized by Hope 4 Peace & Justice.

—  David Taffet

SMU vote inspires Harvey Milk Day celebration on Cedar Springs

Harvey Milk DayDallas Mayor Mike Rawlings issued a proclamation to Hope 4 Peace and Justice, naming Thursday, May 22, 2014, as Harvey Milk Day.

Harvey Milk Day Dallas organizer Todd Whitley said H4PJ was inspired to create a celebration by LGBT students at Southern Methodist University who were recently denied representation in the Student Senate.

“We’re still having this fight today? Seriously?” Whitley said. “Harvey’s message is needed now more than ever.”

He said organizers thought of the SMU students and elderly LGBT folks who have fought homophobia their entire lives.

Sammi Partida was one of the SMU students who campaigned for LGBT representation in the Student Senate. He said Harvey Milk is a voice for those who have been suppressed.

“His approach was comprehensive,” he said, covering issues from child care to affordable housing to senior citizen.

He said Milk had a passion that’s hard to match.

“When coming in as city supervisor, he knew he was putting down his life for countless people,” Partida said. “He’s so inspiring.”

Whitley said coming out saved his life.

“I was dying, unable to be the authentic me,” he said, “and doing so completely changed my life.”

Whitley agreed and said Milk’s legacy spoke to him personally.

“Gone far too soon, Harvey Milk inspired a generation to ‘bust down those closet doors’ and ‘come out,’ a vital, life-saving action it would take me 38 years to finally do myself. … That’s what his legacy is to me,” Whitley said.

Milk’s call to come out is as relevant today as it was when he was killed in 1978.

Whitley challenged straight people to honor Harvey Milk Day by coming out for equality as well.

“If you’re straight — particularly a straight Christian — and believe that LGBTQ folks are equal to you, come out so people know where you stand and can use your example to eliminate their own bigotry,” he said.

Milk has a special connection to Dallas. In 1957, he briefly lived in Dallas, according to the San Francisco library, before returning to New York. He was transferred here in 1969 by Bache & Co. where he was a securities analyst and lived at 2525 Turtle Creek Blvd. before moving to San Francisco.

In honor of Milk, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a Harvey Milk stamp Thursday.

A community celebration of Harvey Milk Day takes place at the Legacy of Love Monument on Cedar Springs Road at Oak Lawn Avenue on May 22 at 8 p.m. The celebration features speakers which include SMU student Sammi Partida and Cathedral of Hope Interim Pastor Jim Mitulski, a musical performance by Chris Chism, an excerpt of the H4PJ production Dear Harvey and a spoken word performance by local activist Meg Hargis followed by a candlelight march down Cedar Springs Road and cake and ice cream at Sue Ellen’s.

—  David Taffet

City crews work to clean up Oak Lawn


Downed trees blocked traffic on Fitzhugh Avenue

Downed trees and flashing traffic lights slowed commutes in Oak Lawn this morning after Thursday’s storm.

City crews were out working around the area after Oak Lawn received more than 3 1/2 inches of rain accompanied by winds up to 70 miles per hour. Parts of Turtle Creek Boulevard were still closed Friday because of debris blocking the road. Portions of the street flooded for a short time as the stream rose out of its banks.

—  David Taffet

That wet stuff is called rain … or who knew rivers had water in them

Some areas of the city have received three inches of rain Thursday. Turtle Creek is a low spot in Oak Lawn, so the street was flooding. I just ran out to get some shots of the creek overflowing its banks and water rushing over the falls. We haven’t seen anything like this in quite awhile.

—  David Taffet

Oak Lawn listed as 8th-best neighborhood in U.S. for millennials

3102-oak-lawn-avenue-dallas-tx-75219Niche Ink, a website dedicated to education analysis, reported Monday that Oak Lawn is the eighth-best neighborhood in the U.S. for young people to live in. The organization  put together a list of the best metro areas for millennials. They ranked the metro areas in the U.S. using a dozen factors, including data from the U.S. Census, FBI crime rates, and Niche Ink user opinions on the best places for life after graduation. They then calculated the best neighborhood for young people in each of those cities. (You can read the full methodology here.)

The report said “Oak Lawn is one of the wealthiest areas of Dallas with a lot of urban professionals, townhouses, condos, and apartments. There are a lot of good restaurants, bars, and clubs, particularly for the LGBT community. Fifteen percent of its population is aged 25 to 34, and it has a median rent of $874. The average income is $29,830.

Midtown in Houston came in at No. 21, and South River City in Austin ranked No. 2. We can live with Austin beating us out. Houston? That’s never going to happen. And the average income in Oak Lawn is $29,830? Well, I need a raise.

To see the listings, click here.

—  Steve Ramos