Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

Time flies.

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Damn. It has been a year since that asshole tried to shoot up the police department and got center-punched for his trouble? Where does the time go?

One year later article from the Statesman, which has some details I either didn’t know or forgot.

Johnson turned protective. Still holding on tightly to the horses’ reins with his left hand, he pressed his chest against one of the garage’s concrete pillars and drew his weapon, the Police Department’s standard-issue Smith & Wesson M&P 40.

The bizarre nature of the incident and his incredible gunshot come up nearly every day. According to a ballistics investigation, the .40-caliber bullet fired from Johnson’s gun traveled 314 feet in less than a second. The bullet nicked the driver’s door frame of McQuilliams’ vehicle and continued tumbling sideways 5 more feet before it hit McQuilliams.

Yes. That was a 100 yard, one-handed shot with an M&P .40.

That was the only shot police fired that night.

It was also the decisive one.

I can’t find it online, and my memory is a little sketchy, but I’m reminded of an “Ayoob Files” from some years ago. Briefly: bad guy armed with a rifle is holding off cops (and kills one dead). Cops are only armed with handguns, and try to take the guy out, but he has them pinned down 80 to 100 yards away. My recollection of Ayoob’s account is that at least one of the responding officers tried making shots at that range with his duty gun; when the bad guy was finally taken down (as I recall, by someone who arrived on scene with a shotgun and hit him with a rifled slug), they found a fairly tight group of bullet holes…just above where the bad guy’s head would have been.

One of Ayoob’s points, which I thought was well taken was: maybe every once in a while you should try taking long range shots with your duty weapon, just so you have some idea of what it can do and where you might need to hold. Then again…

Johnson, 40, loves his unit and his job, a perfect fit for someone who had grown up riding horses on a ranch and practiced shooting with a .22-caliber rifle from his back porch.

…if you grew up shooting off the back porch, maybe you don’t need that advice.

(Also, Massad Ayoob, if you happen to be reading this: this incident, and Sgt. Johnson in particular, might make for a good “Ayoob Files” installment. Just saying.)

Well. Well well well. Well.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

More from the HouChron on the “person of interest” in the Judge Kocurek case.


  • He was scheduled to go before the judge in December: prosecutors were looking to revoke his probation from a previous fraud case.
  • He’s been charged with a murder from May of this year.
  • He “has a long arrest record in Harris County but few convictions, court records show.”

Quick random notes: November 10, 2015.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Mike Thomas out as athletic director at Illinois.

The Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow trial stated yesterday.

On one occasion, Hasib said, Chow told an agent, who clandestinely tape-recorded his comments, “I don’t commit crimes myself, but I know a lot of people who do.”

More from the LAT.

My mother was complaining last night that the authorities were being awfully close-mouthed about the shooting of Judge Kocurek. I figured they were playing things close to the vest because the investigation was ongoing.

Well. Well well well. Well.

Austin police said Monday night that it is aware of the arrest in Houston of a person of interest in Kocurek’s shooting and that the person is being detained on unrelated charges, but declined to comment any further citing the ongoing investigation.

Note from the police blotter…

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

I’m sorry I didn’t make note of this yesterday, but I was running from sunrise to midnight: first, hanging out with family at WurstFest, then diiner with friends and hanging out watching creepy stuff.

(Seriouly. I like to think I have a high tolerance for creepy, but Island of Lost Souls got under my skin. I may have more to say about this later, but I do commend the Criterion blu-ray to your attention.)

Anyway, this is kind of a local story, but it may have broader implications: somebody tried to kill a local judge late Friday night.

The judge in question, Julie Kocurek, is a district judge and is heavily involved with criminal prosecutions:

… it was Kocurek who, in July, unsealed the 75-page search warrant affidavit that for the first time linked former Austin police officer VonTrey Clark to the conspiracy to kill Samantha Dean, an Austin-area crime victims counselor shot to death in February.

I’m not saying it was Clark or his buddies that were behind this, but the speculation is that this was some form of retaliation, and not just a robbery gone bad. She was with other people, and:

When she returned home, a bag of trash or a garbage can had been placed in front of the security gate into her driveway, requiring the driver of her car to stop the vehicle to remove it.

Judge Kocurek is currently in stable condition, according to reports. We hope she makes a full recovery, and we’ll be watching this story with great interest.

Well, it’s official now…

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

…VonTrey Clark has officially been indicted on capital murder charges.

Ripped from the headlines!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Police affidavit: Shia LaBeouf ‘was a danger to himself and others’

I have no joke here, I just wanted to say this:

Art (Acevedo), damn it! watch. (#X of a series)

Friday, September 11th, 2015

In the time I’ve been doing the Art (Acevedo) watch, I don’t think I’ve ever put up a photo of the chief. Some of the articles I’ve linked to may have had photos, but I don’t if people click through, and I don’t think there’s ever been one here.

Until now.

Yes, the chief is kind of a geek.

The chief also has a button installed in his office that makes the noise of the “red alert” alarm in classic Star Trek episodes.


“On the day it opens, do not call me,” he said. “Do not get in my way. I will be at the Alamo Drafthouse with a bucket of buttered popcorn.”

“Do not get in my way.” If someone does, could they be charged with obstruction of justice?

Art (Acevedo), damn it! watch. (#W of a series)

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The chief is staying in Austin. And getting a pay raise.

In other news, VonTrey Clark has been deported from Indonesia:

Clark, 32, was handed over to 13 agents of the FBI and was flown to Texas on a specially chartered plane from the bureau.

Unintended consequences.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Part 1:

Two years later, an assessment commissioned by the city finds that the ban is having an unintended effect –- people are now throwing away heavy-duty reusable plastic bags at an unprecedented rate. The city’s good intentions have proven all too vulnerable to the laws of supply and demand.

Part 2:

And in New York City, where heroin goes for about $10 a bag, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration official, a pack of cigarettes costs $12.85 or $10.29, depending on which of the two surveys you consult.

Art (Acevedo), damn it! watch. (#V of a series)

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The question of the day is: will we get to “Z” in the series?

Austin police Chief Art Acevedo is a finalist for the police chief of San Antonio Police Department.

(As a side note, I’ve always wondered what Sue Grafton’s going to do with Kinsey Millhone after she gets to “Z”. Two books to go.)

Quickies: August 13, 2015.

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Hugo Pinell died yesterday.

On August 21, 1971, Pinell, George Jackson, and several other inmates attempted to escape from San Quentin. Three inmates and three guards were killed in the attempt.

Pinell received a third life sentence for attacking two officers, slitting their throats, in that escape attempt, and had spent the majority of his time since then in solitary confinement and had participated in a 2013 statewide hunger strike protesting those conditions.

Pinell was killed by another prisoner during a riot.

Noted: Warren G. Harding apparently did father a child with his mistress, Nan Britton.

Also noted: VonTrey Clark was allegedly offering $5,000 for the murder of Samantha Dean. (Previously.)

My great and good friend Joe D. and I have had past discussions about death at the Grand Canyon and at Yosemite (although I can’t find them now). In that light, this is interesting: “Forget bears: Here’s what really kills people at national parks”.

Short version: if you do die at a national park, it will probably be a drowning or a car crash. But statistically, the odds are low that you will die at a national park.

Your Samantha Dean update: August 5, 2015.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Our old friend, ex-APD officer VonTrey Clark (previously) is in custody in Indonesia.

Yes, I know: I quoted the news reports as stating that Indonesia does not have an extradition treaty with the US. But, according to the reports I’ve seen, Clark is currently being held by Indonesian authorities because his visa isn’t in order.

And in spite of the fact that there is no formal extradition treaty, Indonesia apparently is planning to return Clark to the United States.

“He was arrested last Friday by investigators in Bali,” the secretary of Interpol’s national central bureau for Indonesia, Brigadier-General Amhar Azeth, told AFP.
“He is wanted for murder.”