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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Houston Area Flu Cases Spike!

THE CHRON: If you've been putting off your annual flu shot, don't delay any longer: Texas is already being hit hard this flu season.
Houston-area hospitals have seen a spike in the number of emergency room visits for flu-like symptoms, said Porfirio Villarreal, spokesman for the Houston Department of Health and Human Services. During the week of Nov. 18, about 1,580 visits to emergency rooms were attributed to flu-like illnesses, compared with just 249 visits during the same week last year, Villarreal said.
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization or even death, the CDC says.
Every flu season is different, and even healthy people can get very sick from the disease and spread it to others. From 1976 to 2007, estimates of U.S. deaths each year due to flu ranged from 3,000 to 49,000.
"Flu is predictably unpredictable," said Dr. Gail Demmler-Harrison, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Texas Children's Hospital and pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine. "There's no cause for alarm but cause for action. People should get themselves vaccinated so it doesn't get any worse."
National Influenza Vaccination Week, a campaign established in 2005 to counter the notion that December is too late to get a vaccination, ends Saturday. Once a vaccine is administered, it takes about two weeks to develop immunity.
Although the influenza season usually peaks in February, 48 states and Puerto Rico have reported cases, with rates rising quickly nationwide, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.
Along with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are also reporting high levels of activity.
In Houston, Texas Children's Hospital has seen an early start to the season with 123 confirmed cases of Type A influenza and 32 cases of Type B, compared with just two Type A cases in the same span last year, Demmler-Harrison said.
Everyone who is at least 6 months old should get a flu vaccination, but the CDC says it's especially important for these groups:
» People at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get the flu, including those with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
» Pregnant women.
» People 65 years and older.
» People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Truck smashes into post office

by KHOU.com Staff

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – Troopers said last Wednesday the driver who smashed his truck through the wall of a post office may have suffered from some kind of medical condition.
It was around 7:30 p.m. when rescuers were called to FM 1486 and Highway 105 in Montgomery County. They found a blue Chevrolet pickup truck inside a U.S. Post Office.
Witnesses told troopers the driver was heading west on 105 when he left the roadway and went through a grassy median and parking lot before hitting the post office.
The driver, identified as William Joachim Bailey, 36, was sent to a hospital in College Station in stable condition, troopers said.
No other vehicles were involved in the incident, but the post office suffered extensive damage. The impact took out a wall, electrical lines, and water pipes.
According to DPS Trooper Campbell, investigators spoke with the driver. He said it appeared a medical condition was the cause of the incident.
The damage was boarded up overnight, and the post office planned on opening for business on Thursday

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Video catches burglars in the act ...

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tex. (KPRC) - Authorities in Montgomery County, Texas are hoping security camera footage will help them nab two burglars.

Surveillance video showed the first burglar walk through a home's open garage door and bust through the kitchen door.

The second one was not far behind as he casually strolled in the home and covered his face.

The homeowner came home to find the broken door and her jewelry missing.

"I think you feel extremely violated," she said. "Because you lose not only your monetary things but your memories. The Christmas gifts. The things you picked up on family vacation. Things that my late mother and law had."

On surveillance tape, one man casually walked out, again covering his face.

The second man strolled out carrying a cardboard boot box full of priceless jewels.

The Montgomery County Sheriff office is asked for help finding the burglars.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Execution blocked for man condemned for the 2000 abduction, rape and strangling of a 12-year-old girl.

HOUSTON -- A federal judge has blocked this week's scheduled execution of a Montgomery County man condemned for the 2000 abduction, rape and strangling of a 12-year-old girl. U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ruled Monday that attorneys for 44-year-old Jonathan Green weren't properly allowed at a state competency hearing to present testimony from mental health professionals who treated him. The hearing was two years ago. Atlas also says a judge who found Green competent for execution relied on an order drafted by prosecutors, that Green's lawyers had no opportunity to object and that at least one legal standard in the ruling was incorrectly applied. Green was set to die Wednesday in Huntsville for the slaying of Christina Neal. Green lived near Neal's family in Dobbin, about 45 miles northwest of Houston.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Man killed in bar fight over cell phone

A man was killed early Saturday after intervening in a fight at a Montgomery County night club.

 It happened around 12:45am at the Good Fortune Club in the 25100 block of Interstate 45 North in south Montgomery County.

When Montgomery County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived, they found Christopher A. Dillon dead inside the club and several witnesses blaming the same person for his death -- 30-year-old Toriano Renauld Freeman.
According to witnesses, Freeman entered the club sometime after midnight and asked a customer to use his cell phone. 

The patron allowed Freeman to use his phone, but then he did not want to return it.
Deputies said a fight broke out and Dillon intervened. Freeman reportedly assaulted Dillon, punching him several times. Witnesses told deputies the victim fell to the floor unconscious and died.

Freeman fled the scene on foot. He was arrested around 10:30am at a convenience store at the intersection of Sawdust Road and I-45, near where deputies believed he lives.
Officials said Freeman was charged with murder. He was also wanted for an outstanding misdemeanor theft warrant.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Child predator jailed

Thanks to the persistence of an East Montgomery County mom, and the determination of members of the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, a child predator with multiple known victims is behind bars. Not only have they saved the children he was pursuing and victimizing through social media, his young daughter’s 2008 outcry of sexual abuse has been reexamined resulting in an indictment.
An in-depth multi-agency investigation led by Montgomery County Precinct 4 Capt. Mark Seals and Sgt. Art Looza produced damning evidence sent to preteen girls he befriended through Facebook, including not only messages that were sexual in nature, but also webcam video of 49-year-old Duane Charles Parker of Lafayette Louisiana masturbating while discussing what he would like to do to his victims.
Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden, who at one point had five men working on the investigation, said Parker was every parent’s nightmare.
“He’s the person you warn your kids about, and the reason we have to teach our children not to talk to strangers in person or online, even if they seem nice.” Constable Hayden said. “At almost 50 years old, Mr. Parker managed to befriend well over a dozen little girls without their parents’ knowledge with the intention of using them for his own twisted sexual gratification.”
So far, Duane Parker (a.k.a. Parker Duane, a.k.a. Johnny Pepper), is charged with 2 counts of second-degree felony Online Solicitation of a Minor Under 14 (Montgomery County); and 1 count of first-degree felony Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (Galveston County). Parker’s bond is set at $300,000 ($100,000 for each charge).
His request for a bond reduction on the first two charges was denied in a Montgomery County court last Thursday. The same day, a Galveston County grand jury returned an indictment on the third and most serious charge, which was the result of a CPS investigation launched after Parker’s then 6-year-old daughter claimed he was sexually abusing her. That complaint was filed in 2008 by the child’s then 24-year-old mother. Records indicate the girl was born when the mother was 17 and Parker was 39.
The couple split up but Parker retained parental rights to the now 10-year-old girl, who was with him at the time of his August 13 arrest. That child’s mother has a 6-year-old daughter by a different father and the 6-year-old was also with Parker when he was arrested. The mother lives in Kingwood, but the girls had been with Parker in Lafayette. His business, “            1-800-CRAWFISH      ” or “Crawfish Unlimited” involves frequent trips between south Louisiana and southeast Texas.
Capt. Seals and Sgt. Looza believe there may be many more victims who have not come forward or who never knew Parker’s true identity.
Parker lived in Texas in 2008 when his daughter’s mother contacted Child Protective Services. He was convicted of Indecent Exposure in Galveston in 2010 after exposing his penis to a 17-year-old Starbucks employee as he sat in his vehicle at a drive-thru window. It is unclear exactly when Parker moved to Lafayette because he kept his Texas Driver’s License, which has the address of what is now a parking lot and was once a UPS store where he rented a mailbox.
“Every address connected with Duane Charles Parker was bogus,” Capt. Seals said.
The East Montgomery County mom who first alerted authorities, and whose identity is withheld to protect her family’s privacy, began noticing comments by an unfamiliar name on her daughter’s Facebook page. The person posting as “Parker Duane” was using a photo of a sports car as a profile picture, and listed no date of birth. The mom said her daughter, who turned 12 this year, accepted Parker’s friendship because they had several mutual friends, and all of them were schoolmates. It is unknown how Parker found and first connected with the circle of female friends (17 at last count), all of whom are now in the seventh grade. At first, the girl and her mother assumed with so many mutual friends, some of them must have known “Parker Duane” personally.
Parker began clicking “like” on the girl’s Facebook posts and when they frequently posted photos of themselves, as young girls do, Parker posted comments like “beautiful,” “I’m in love” and “XOX” using hearts and other flirtatious words and symbols typically used by preteens on one another’s pages. He also sent instant and private messages that became progressively inappropriate and the mom took control of her daughter’s account. Parker quickly confirmed the mother’s suspicions when he sent her daughter a lengthy private message that began, “hey Beautiful, omg ur so Beautiful ur a dream ur someone id love to be mine…” The message continued with Parker rambling, at one point writing, “I know I may scar(e) u but im safe loving and could only love you…” He also discussed wishing he were in her room lying on her bed, with her on top of him. The message was followed by a video that showed the trunk section of an adult male (now known to be Parker) in bikini underwear, exposing his genitals and masturbating.
Around the same time, the mother of another 12-year-old girl in the group contacted the reportee mom, saying “Parker Duane” was also sending sexual messages and pornographic video to her daughter and she had proof he was a grown man. Signed onto her daughter’s Facebook account, that mother searched through his page history and finally found a shirtless photo he posted of himself, sitting on a black leather sofa and making a peace sign. Comparing the photo to Parker when he was arrested, it appears to be around 20 years old, which would still make him around 30 when the photo was taken.
The reportee mom contacted law enforcement, but “Parker Duane’s” account was deleted.
Capt. Seals said his agency contacted the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children, or ICAC division because they had a lot of experience with child predators who used the internet.
All involved believed the unidentified predator had become paranoid and would probably move on to another group, using a different name. They were partially right. It was not long before Parker returned to Facebook using the name “Johnny Pepper,” and contacting the girls in the same ways as before. This time, however, law enforcement was on the receiving end of his messages and videos. They obtained permission from the mothers of both girls to take control of their Facebook accounts and continued communicating with Parker as though they were the girls.
Investigators were able to identify and ultimately apprehend Parker through his business on August 13 at a restaurant on I-45 in Webster where he arrived to deliver an order. Child Protective Services took custody of Parker’s daughter and her half-sister upon his arrest and both were interviewed. As of now, Parker has not been charged in connection with the younger girl.

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