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

Volunteer patrol stops attack

Police volunteer

An attack by these men was stopped by patrol volunteers

Although it’s been quieter in Oak Lawn recently, two attacks took place last week.

This past weekend another attack was prevented by a Dallas Police Volunteer patrol.

The attacks the previous week were not reported to police. In those two cases a couple holding hands was beaten up and a trans woman was attacked and required stitches on her chin.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, John Anderson and Cannon Brown, who are part of the Dallas Police Volunteers patrol in Oak Lawn, decided to cruise the neighborhood from 11 p.m.-4 a.m. Brian Taylor was in the car training with them.

They encountered what Anderson called “three thugs.” One was pulling his shirt up to get gay guys to look at him. When a gay man did look in their direction, the three started yelling “faggot” at them. They pulled bandanas over their faces to hide their identities and headed toward him.

Anderson drove toward the group. Brown shined a flashlight at them and called 911. They ran in separate directions.

“Immediately, police were everywhere chasing them,” Anderson said.

One was caught within the neighborhood. He was a juvenile and released.

“No crime happened, because we stopped it,” Anderson said.

Anderson said neighborhood patrols are effective because people living in the neighborhood often know who belongs and what doesn’t look right even better than police, who may not regularly patrol that beat.

“If we think they’re up to no good, we follow them,” he said.

On the other hand, if someone’s walking to his car alone, they might follow him to make sure he gets there safely.

Anderson said there were only six Oak Lawn patrol volunteers last September. Now, 21 have finished training and are working with police. Since he completed his class and his ride-along training, Anderson’s logged 20 hours patrolling.

“Every time we go out, we’ve called 911 at least once,” Anderson said. “And we’re wanting more people to join.”

Anderson is collecting names of people interesting in joining the volunteer patrol program. If you would like to participate, contact him on his Facebook page.

—  David Taffet

March Wine Walk set for Cedar Springs

Wine WalkThe March Wine Walk on Cedar Springs Road takes place 6-9 p.m. on March 2.

Proceeds raised will go toward increased security on the Strip and in the neighborhood. Purchase a glass in the tent in front of the Round-Up Saloon. Sign up to win a gift basket filled with goodies from Cedar Springs merchants.

—  David Taffet

Sneak peek: Zephyr now open in old Zini’s space

IMG_9446

IMG_9432Ever since Zini’s Pizzeria closed suddenly last July, some of the prime dining real estate in the Crossroads has lain empty… at least until last Thursday evening. That’s when Zephyr — the new bistro, cafe and bakery from Thai-riffic owner Danny Sikora and his business partner Josh Friedman — officially opened its doors for a “soft” opening. Less than a week later, folks are beginning to discover the new eatery, which has radically altered the space to conjure European sidewalk brassseries. The menu reflects that aesthetic as well: sandwiches, soups (including French onion with gruyere) … as well as deviled eggs (pictured) and cupcakes, both topped with bacon. Yeah, we could get used to this.

It’s currently open for lunch and dinner, except Mondays. Welcome them to the neighborhood… and look for a full review next month!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Two new supermarkets going in near downtown

kroger-logoTom Thumb and Kroger are building stores near downtown Dallas. Construction hasn’t begun on either project, but Kroger will be free-standing so it should open sooner than the new Tom Thumb, which will anchor a high-rise project.

Kroger purchased a block along the east side of Central Expressway near the Woodall Rodgers interchange. The store will be on Hall Street, diagonally across the highway from the Walmart supermarket. The company plans to build a 78,000-square-foot store. That’s larger than the store on Cedar Springs Road, closer in size to the store on Maple Avenue.

Kroger already has a store within a mile of that location at CityPlace.

And, of course, as in all Kroger stores, your guns are welcome.

TomThumb-logoTom Thumb is opening a store in the area as well. The supermarket will anchor a new high-rise development at Cedar Springs Road and Akard Street. That’s a block from the Perot Museum and north of Woodall Rodgers, two blocks outside the Central Business District in — Uptown, Victory, or whatever they want to call it — on the city plat, that’s the edge of Oak Lawn.

This will be a gun-free store.

—  David Taffet

More robberies on the Katy Trail

Screen shot 2016-01-15 at 9.54.33 AMThe spate of violent robberies and attacks in the Oak Lawn area seems to have died down over the last month or so. But don’t be lulled into complacency.

Dallas police are investigating two robberies that happened in the last week along the Katy Trail, which is, if not actually in the gayborhood, is at least gayborhood-adjacent.

Police say the two offenses — one on Jan. 9 in Reverchon Park and the other on Jan. 13 near the American Airlines Center — do not appear to be related. But for those who have been paying attention to the attacks in Oak Lawn, one of the two sounds eerily familiar.

The first attack happened about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, as a 31-year-old female jogger left the trail and entered Reverchon Park. Police say a black male stepped in front of her and began yelling at her, “Give me all your money!”

Police say the way threw a $5 bill at the man, sprayed him with mace and ran away. The suspect did not follow her. He is described as about 23 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was wearing a gray goodie, gray beanie and black headphones.

Because the suspect didn’t threaten the woman and did not display a weapon, police are investigating the incident as a third degree felony.

The second attack happened Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 4:24 p.m. in the 1600 block of Lyte Street. The victim, this time a man, had just come of Katy Trail near the AAC when he was approached by two black men who “engaged him in conversation,” according to police. The victim kept walking but one of the men attacked, hitting him in the head with “an unknown object,” knocking him to the ground.

The victim managed to get up and begin running, but the suspects chased and caught him. They slammed him to the ground and stole his cell phone, but then ran off when witnesses intervened, police said.

The first suspect in this attack was described as about 19 years old and 6 feet tall with short hair. He was wearing all black. The second suspect is described as a black man, 16 to 19 years old, and about 5-feet-8. He weighed about 150 pounds and had lighter-toned skin.

Detectives investigating the incidents have asked that anyone with information on either offense call 214-671-3584.

—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING NEWS: 2 arrested possibly in connection with Oak Lawn robberies

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 2.49.29 PMDallas Police have just announced that two suspects were arrested about 2:30 this morning who might be linked to a series of attacks that have happened in Oak Lawn since the first of September.

Deon Fridia and Donedwin Maxie, both 18, have been charged with one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

In a 2 p.m. press conference at Dallas Police headquarters today (Sunday, Dec. 6), Maj. Max Geron said patrol officers spotted two teenagers in the 4000 block of Cedar Springs Road — that’s at the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton — driving a car that had been stolen earlier from a woman in a parking garage at Parkland Hospital. The woman had been robbed and pistol-whipped. Geron, suggesting that the teens appeared to be looking for another victim as they cruised Cedar Springs, said the patrol officers pulled the suspects over at convenience store in the 3700 block of Maple Avenue, and arrested them there.

Geron said police will be investigating further to determine whether Fridia and Maxie are connected with the recent spate of robberies/attacks in which several gay men have been injured.

 

—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING: Oak Lawn’s Kin Kin closing, will soon reopen as Bite

IMG_3186

IMG_3187Kin Kin Urban Thai, the Southeast Asian-themed restaurant from Fort Worth’s “Chef Eddy” that opened along Oak Lawn in the old Cyclone Anaya’s space this past summer, has closed, but neither it, nor the space, are gone for good.

The Kin Kin concept will relocate to Preston Forest, as well as Richardson’s CityLine area. And the Oak Lawn space will reopen as Bite on Dec. 9.

“Bite [will allow] me to cook a wide variety of cuisine, not just Thai food,” Chef Eddy says. “We feel that Bite better serves our clientele locally.”

I was about to publish a full review of Kin Kin, which I enjoyed. Hopefully some of the recipes — as well as the excellent drink menu — will stay put at Bite.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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

IMG_1811

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.

IMG_1814 IMG_1817 IMG_2261 IMG_2268

—  Tammye Nash

Chamber, ilume developer pledge reward funds for info on Oak Lawn attacks

crosland veddaOfficials with the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce announced today (Friday, Nov. 20) that the chamber has pledged $2,500 to be added to the reward offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects responsible for recent robberies and assaults in the Oak Lawn gayborhood. Luke Crosland, owner of The Crosland Group that developed the two ilume complexes on Cedar Springs Road, has promised to match that with another $2,500.

Chamber President and CEO Tony Vedda said he is optimistic that the additional reward money will motivate anyone with information on the 12 crimes that have occurred here in the last three months to come forward.

“It is our shared hope that we can come together as a community with our voices and our resources to catch whomever is perpetrating these crimes,” Vedda said in a statement released this afternoon. “Our businesses, patrons and residents have a vested interest in preventing further incidents.”

Crosland said he, too, is committed to finding justice for the victims, and that he wants the community to remain vigilant.

“We have continued to invest in private armed security for our properties, as safety is a top priority for our members, tenants and customers,” Crosland said. “This neighborhood is a wonderful place to live, shop and celebrate, and we are dedicated to finding the culprits.”

The money from the chamber and Crosland will be added to $10,000 in reward money already pledged to Crime Stoppers with help from Resource Center and Dallas City Councilman Adam Medrano.

—  Tammye Nash