Deputies: Park ranger beaten with pipe when he interrupts sexual assault

by Phil Archer

Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office deputies say a Houston park employee put his life on the line to stop a rape.

It happened at Cullinan Park on Highway 6 near the Sugar Land Airport. The park is owned and operated by the city of Houston, but is located in Fort Bend County.

The park is closed at 9 p.m. every night, but it was well after that when a city park ranger on patrol spotted the suspect sexually assaulting a woman and intervened. He stopped the attack but ended up in the hospital as a result.

It was about 3 a.m. Monday when park ranger Conrad Wilturner drove through on patrol and immediately spotted a car in the parking lot. Inside that car, police say, a man was sexually assaulting a woman.

The victim was too injured to talk to Local 2 on camera, but a family spokesperson said she was forced into the back seat of a car and sexually assaulted for hours. Her face and body are bruised and battered.

She knew her attacker, they said.

Sheriff’s deputies identify the man as 25-year-old Miguel Velasquez. When Wilturner stepped in to stop the attack, they say Velazquez attacked him with a steel pipe, beating him on his face and head.

Velasquez fled, leaving the woman behind. Both she and Wilturner were hospitalized.

Velasquez was arrested a few hours after the incident in the 7200 block of Clarewood. He’s been charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault of a public servant. He is being held on a total bond of $750,000.

The park ranger is still hospitalized at Memorial Hermann Hospital. He’ll have to undergo a series of reconstructive surgeries.

The victim’s spokesperson said if it wasn’t for the park ranger who intervened she may not have survived. They are thankful and hope to meet him in person one day.

See video here.

Texan gets nearly 6 years for passing bogus cash

A North Texas man who meticulously made and spent more than $400,000 in fake money has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

A federal judge in Tyler on Tuesday sentenced 58-year-old Cloyd Ray Knight III of Arlington in a case involving bogus $100 bills.

Knight in May 2013 pleaded guilty to passing counterfeit bills. He fled but was recaptured in January.

Prosecutors say Knight since 2004 developed a counterfeiting process that included using newspaper print paper, painting the paper with acrylic, printing simulated watermarks and security threads on the paper and spraying the fake notes with a dulling coat.

Knight operated in Texas and Louisiana by using counterfeit bills to purchase goods and receiving legitimate cash as change.

Knight was sentenced to 69 months behind bars.

Sons Arrested, Mother Feels Faint During Drug Raid

A SWAT team raided a home in the Corpus Christi Country Club neighborhood while the suspects were asleep inside.

It happened around 7 o’clock this morning. Officers say they’d been watching the house, undercover, for a long time after receiving complaints about drug use at the house on Fire Creek Drive.

We’re told officers found cocaine, marijuana and synthetic pot. Two men who live at the home with their mother are now in police custody on drug charges.

“These gentlemen here have been moving a pretty good quantity of cocaine and they needed to go to jail,” according to CCPD’s Captain David Cook.

Their mother asked for medical assistance because she started feeling faint with all of the officers in the home.

See video here.

CPS: Girl’s body has been in fridge since January death

by Phil Archer

New details were revealed Wednesday in the case of a 9-year-old girl found dead in her mother’s apartment in southwest Houston.

The day after the victim’s mother came forward to speak with homicide detectives, an emergency custody hearing was held for the girl’s 5-year-old sister.

The body of Ayahna Comb was found wrapped in blankets in the kitchen of an apartment she shared with her mother and her younger sister in the 10100 block of Club Creek Drive.

The girls’ mother, Amber Keyes, was questioned by police on Tuesday evening. Police have not yet said if any charges will be filed against Keyes.

A CPS case worker told the court during Wednesday’s hearing that Keyes admitted putting her severely handicapped daughter’s emaciated body in a drawer of her refrigerator after the 9-year-old stopped breathing on Jan. 29. The caseworker says Ayahna weighed only 14 pounds when she was found Monday.

According to an investigator’s affidavit obtained by Local 2 News, Keyes hid the girl’s death from her family. When asked why, the affidavit says, “Ms. Keyes said she panicked and does not know why she didn’t call for help.”

Instead Keyes told family that Ayahna, who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, had been placed in a facility for children with special needs.

She even kept the death hidden from Ayahna’s 5-year-old sister who lived in the apartment. But investigators say the little girl was soon telling playmates about seeing the body.

The affidavit says the girl told investigators, “…that one time she opened the drawer to the fridge looking for a cheese stick and there was a body in the drawer.”

The investigators go on to say that Keyes, “continued to collect Social Security Disability Income and food stamps for Ayahna following her death.”

And the affidavit says Keyes even renewed her application for food stamps last May.

In court Wednesday, the children’s father, Armand Comb, insisted he’d seen the Ayahna just two months ago, even though by her mother’s account she died long before.

Comb was seeking custody of the younger sister. After hearing a caseworker bring up concerns about Comb’s alleged substance abuse, his emotional and mental health, and his failure to follow up on Ayahna’s disappearance, the judge ruled Ayahna’s 5-year-old sibling will remain in CPS custody for now.

The judge set a temporary custody hearing for next week. The girl’s mother has been ordered to appear.

The judge also appointed a lawyer for Comb. He has also agreed to undergo a drug screening.

Police found Ayahna’s body Monday after a concerned neighbor entered her mother’s apartment through an unlocked door and found the child’s body. He called the Houston Fire Department. Firefighters notified police.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday to determine the exact cause and time of the girl’s death. Those autopsy results have not yet been released.

The caseworker also testified that the girl’s mother said Ayahna had last seen a doctor more than two years ago. The caseworker told a judge that when Ayahna was found, she was emaciated, thin, and her body was decomposing.

See video here.

Woman shot & killed, witness holds suspect until police arrive

by Gianna Caserta

An innocent bystander put his own life on the line to stop the man accused of killing a woman at a gas station in southeast Houston.

It started around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, when a white van with four occupants parked at the Valero in the 7000 block of Scott Street.

“[A] verbal dispute broke out [inside the van],” said Officer Jennifer Saldana with the Houston Police Department.  “The driver was seen shooting at a front passenger female.”

Chance Perkins, a witness at the scene, described the moment the shot rang out, while he stood just feet away:

“I look[ed] out of the corner of my eye and [saw] a silver pistol in this man’s hand,” said Perkins.  “I want[ed] to keep my distance, and then he just shot the victim like it was nothing.  Cold-blooded just right there, pulled [the gun] out in broad daylight and shot her.”

Perkins not only witnessed the shooting, but stepped in to help hold the suspect before police arrived.

“I was five feet from him, and that’s when flight or fight kicked in, and me and him got into it,” Perkins said.  “I pushed my knee into the small of his back and got him on the ground.”

According to reports, the suspect still had a gun in his hand at the time, and managed to fire three more shots while Perkins wrestled him to the ground.

When asked what motivated him to help diffuse the situation and hold such a dangerous suspect, Perkins had a straightforward response:

“I know what’s right.  I gotta [sic] do it.  When I saw that happen, I couldn’t live with myself if I just walked away or ran.  I couldn’t do that.”

Another bystander saw them struggle and rushed over to help prevent the suspect from running away or causing additional harm.

Their actions provided officers the time they needed to arrive at the scene and arrest the suspect, investigators said.  He now faces murder charges.

As for Perkins, he said a crime like this is nothing you’d ever expect to witness.

“I [was] on my way home, and I just needed some gas.  And I see a Valero, and sure enough the price is right, and [now] here we are.”

See video here.

Prison terms for corrupt Panama Unit officers

A federal judge has sentenced a former South Texas law enforcement officer convicted of federal drug charges in McAllen to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced former Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy Jorge Garza on Tuesday. He was the first of nine former lawmen to be sentenced.

The men, some of whom were members of a drug-fighting task force called the Panama Unit, worked for the Hidalgo County sheriff’s office and Mission police department, but used their authority to steal drugs and sell them to traffickers.

The 60-year-old Garza was not a member of the Panama Unit, but he was the only one who took his case to trial. He was convicted of a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance for his role in stealing drug loads.

Armed good Samaritan comes to the aid of purse-snatching victim

by Rucks Russell

A mother out with her two children to go shopping became the victim of would-be purse snatchers, but a good Samaritan armed with a gun came to the rescue.

“It happened so fast,” said Brenda Vasquez, who manages the Family Dollar store in the 3400 block of Orlando Avenue in northeast Houston.

She witnessed the assault.

“This lady opens her car door, grabs the woman’s purse and they reverse. While they’re trying to reverse, the lady is holding on to her purse still, chasing them all the way to the middle.”

That’s when a perfect stranger intervened. He happened to be in his car in the parking lot when it happened.

“And that good Samaritan came out, drew his weapon and scared them. And that’s when he pulled them out of the car.”

Someone snapped a picture of the man holding the two suspects at bay. A few minutes later, police arrived and took the male and female suspects into custody.

The man who first confronted them purchased some candy for his kids and drove away.

“The guy is something else,” said Vasquez. “He’s a hero.”

Police were not releasing the names of either the good Samaritan or the victim.

No one was injured.  See video here.