Suspect Arrested, Charged in Assault at 1300 Cage Street

Sep 17, 2019
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the assault of a woman at 1300 Cage Street about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 14).

The suspect, Lecia Lancelin Grant (b/f, 56), is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the 338th State District Court.  A booking photo of Grant is attached to this news release.

The victim, Mohaganye Barriere, 41, was transported to an area hospital in stable condition.

HPD Major Assaults & Family Violence Division Officers A. Ferrell, J. Roberts and S. Todic reported:

Officers responded to an assault in-progress call at the above address and found Ms. Barriere lying in the street with a large laceration on her right shoulder.  Barriere stated she and suspect Grant got into an argument that escalated into a physical fight.  During the altercation, Grant pulled out a box cutter and stabbed Barriere.

Grant was taken into custody and subsequently charged.
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Mayor appoints new director of Office For People With Disabilities

Sep 17, 2019
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Gabriel “Gabe” M. Cazares, the National Federation of the Blind’s manager of government affairs, as director of the Mayor’s Office For People With Disabilities, which provides services and advocacy for Houston residents with disabilities.

Cazares, a Houston native, has worked for the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind since graduating in 2015 from Texas State University.

His predecessor in the Houston position was Maria Town, who served on the White House public engagement staff before coming to the City and now is president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

“I’m pleased that for the second consecutive time, I have attracted a dynamic national leader in this advocacy field to serve the people of Houston in a position known nationally for local public service,” Mayor Turner said. “I look forward to Gabe Cazares’ work and counsel as he returns to the city where he was born and raised.”

At the National Federation of the Blind, Cazares – a self-described “policy wonk” – was responsible for monitoring, drafting, and shepherding legislation and regulations that affect blind Americans through Congress and the federal rule-making process.

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gave Cazares a “Rising Star” award in 2018 while he served as a mayoral appointee to the Baltimore City Hispanic Commission.

The mission of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities is to serve as the primary advocate for the full inclusion of citizens with disabilities. The office also serves as a liaison among the mayor, City Council, city departments and public and private entities on matters pertaining to people with disabilities in Houston. It has been a key partner in advancing many of Mayor Turner’s major community outreach programs and initiatives, including the Safer Streets initiative, Safe Sidewalks program and Vision Zero. For more information click here.
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!Música! Festival and Mercado at HPL

Sep 10, 2019

¡MÚSICA!
A History of Hispanic Sounds in Houston
Festival and Mercado
at the Houston Public Library

HOUSTON – Enjoy the rich history of Hispanic music as the Houston Public Library (HPL) celebrates and honors the contributions of Hispanic musicians throughout the decades in the City of Houston. ¡Música! Hispanic Sounds of Houston will showcase live musical performances, a symposium with local musicians and artists, an author, Houston’s Poet Laureate, films, food vendors, an exhibit, and city-wide bus tours of Hispanic music locations with Mister McKinney Houston History Bus. It’s going to be a fun music-filled festival and Mercado (market) for all ages.

The Festival and Mercado event, as well as the exhibit are free and open to the public. For more details visit: www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.

The MÚSICA! Festival and Mercado
Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 2PM – 10PM
Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza | 500 McKinney, 77002 
Attend a day-long celebration of story, song and cinema featuring exhibit tours and symposium, live musical entertainment, an outdoor market with multimedia, crafts, youth activities, and film screenings. Follow Facebook/houstonlibrary and Instagram/houstonpubliclibrary to see which local food and art vendors will be participating.

Featuring:
4 PM |Los Skarnales
4:45 PM | Musical Puppet Show with Author Raquel M. Ortiz
5 PM | Invicto (Conjunto band)
5:45 PM | Houston Poet Laureate Leslie Contreras Schwartz 
7 PM | Zenteno Spirit
8:15 PM | La Bamba (1987) film
 
¡MÚSICA! Scavenger Hunt
Houston Metropolitan Research Center | 2 PM – 4 PM

Julia Ideson Building | 550 McKinney St., 77002
Everyone will have fun finding the clues on the history of Hispanic Sounds in Houston throughout the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. Stop by the front desk to grab a scavenger hunt sheet and let the games begin! 

A Bus Tour of Hispanic Sounds in Houston 
Travel on a magical history bus to learn about Latino sounds through the decades as you ride by sites through downtown Houston, Northside and the East End. See where night clubs, ballrooms, record shops and recording studios once stood or still live on. Visit www.mistermckinney.com for scheduling and details. The free bus tours will run throughout the afternoon.
 
Tour hosted by Mistery McKinney’s Historic Houston and in partnership with the ¡Musica! exhibit by the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. 
 
Symposium: Perspectives from Scholars, Musicians and Music Lovers 
Julia Ideson Building Reading Room  | 2 PM – 3PM
2PM |An Academic Perspective 
Hear on the History of Tejano Music, Mexican American artists, and the early years of dance and music in Houston from US history scholars and professors. 

3 PM | An Industry Perspective 
Local musicians tell their stories on the history of Hispanic music in Houston 
 
Exhibit: ¡MÚSICA! History of Hispanic Sounds in Houston
Now through November 9, 2019
Julia Ideson Building | 550 McKinney St., 77002

The exhibit captures key moments through the decades of the vast impact Hispanic musicians have    made in the Bayou City through their different style of music.  Journey back to dances at the Pan American and good times at the first Chicano and Conjunto Festivals. Learn about Lydia Mendoza, the “First Lady of Tejano;” Ventura Alonzo, the “Queen of the Accordion;” and the gifted pianist, Patricio Gutierrez and the Houston Symphony; the Ricky Diaz Orchestra; and also the Zenteno family.

Hear oral histories from those who played, promoted and participated behind the scenes. Items on display are from the Hispanic Archival Collections at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC), part of the Houston Public Library, and some are on loan.

Exhibit programming in partnership with Adrian Garcia, Commissioner Precinct 2 and Mister McKinney’s Historic Houston.

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Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Crash at 6700 South Freeway

Sep 10, 2019
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in a fatal crash at 6700 South Freeway (State Highway 288 South) service road about 10:30 p.m. on August 24.  

The suspect, Joseph Melesio Martinez (H/m, 23), is charged with failure to stop and render aid in the 179th State District.  A booking photo of Martinez is attached to this news release.

The female victim, Rayehasen Elizabeth Wilson, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene.  

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant J. Benavidez and Officer J. Johnson reported:  

Ms. Wilson was a passenger on a Harley Davidson motorcycle traveling eastbound on Holcombe Boulevard.  The motorcycle had the green light at the intersection of the South Freeway service road and was struck by a black Chevrolet Tahoe that ran the red light while traveling northbound on the service road.  Wilson died at the scene.  The driver of the Tahoe did not stop and fled the scene.  The operator of the motorcycle was not injured and remained at the scene.  

Further investigation led to the identity of Joseph Martinez as the wanted driver in the crash and he was arrested last Thursday (Sept. 5) without incident. 
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Additional Suspect Arrested, Charged in Deceased Child Investigation at 7835 Grow Lane

Sep 10, 2019
Charges have been filed against a second suspect arrested in connection with the death of a juvenile female found at 7835 Grow Lane about 3 p.m. on September 2.

The suspect, Santiago Esparza, Jr. (H/m, 30), is charged with tampering with evidence – human corpse in the 351st State District Court. 

The other suspect, Priscilla Torres (H/f, 27), was previously charged with the same offense in the same court for her role in the death of her daughter, Sierra Patino, 5 years of age.  

Booking photos of Esparza and Torres are attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Detectives L. Lange and C. Lamont reported:

Officers responded to a person down call at the apartment complex at the above address and found a female child, Sierra Patino, deceased inside an apartment.

Further investigation led to the identity of the child’s mother, Torres, as having a role in Sierra’s death.  She was subsequently charged and could face additional charges in the ongoing investigation. 

Further investigation led to the identity of Esparza as having a role in the child’s death and, last Friday (Sept. 6), he was arrested by members of the HPD Crime Reduction Unit.  Esparza could also face additional charges in the ongoing investigation. 

Investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences to determine Sierra’s cause of death.
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MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER HIGHLIGHTS LOCAL EFFORTS TO PREVENT SUICIDES AMONG VETERANS, ACTIVE MILITARY AND FAMILY MEMBERS

Sep 10, 2019
HOUSTON – The City of Houston and local agencies are working closer together to increase suicide awareness and prevention support for those who have bravely served our country, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Thursday in conjunction with the start of National Suicide Prevention Month.

The effort is part of the Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families. Houston is one of the initial seven U.S. cities to participate in the challenge, founded last year by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“An estimated 300,000 veterans live in the Houston-area. We all have a role to play in preventing suicide, especially when it comes to those who have served our country with duty, honor and courage,” Mayor Turner said. “I’m proud of my Veterans Affairs Office for accepting the Mayor’s Challenge and joining with vital on-the-ground local agencies to address the epidemic of veteran suicide.”

National statistics show 20 veterans die by suicide every day; a rate much higher than in the civilian population. Rates for Houston are not available but obtaining better local data is one of the goals of the Houston Mayor’s Challenge. 

“Preventing veteran suicide is the highest clinical priority at the VA and we are committed to bringing as many resources as possible to bear to solve this issue here in Houston,” said Frank Vazquez, Houston VA Medical Center Director.  “There really is no single cause of suicide and we know that no single organization can end Veteran suicide alone. Houston VA is proud to be a part of the Houston Mayor’s Challenge and work with our community partners to put an end to Veteran suicide.”

The Houston Mayor’s Challenge has already implemented several measures to eliminate gaps in the roles of local agencies that serve veterans. Among the accomplishment in the first year:The Harris Center and the Houston VA now have a hand-off system between the two agencies to assist with the care of veterans.A network of communication between local hospitals and the VA to assist with veteran care is being built.The Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department are better able to identify suicidal behavior and will begin referring people to ensure follow up care is offered.The Houston Health Department is working with hospitals and the Houston VA to enhance care coordination for veterans who are discharged after suicide attempts.“The Harris Center is proud to be the first Local Mental Health Authority in the State of Texas to have a memorandum of understanding directly with the VA that allows us to coordinate care for veterans,” said Wayne Young, Chief Executive Officer of The Harris Center. “This has already led to over 60 veterans in our community getting immediate access to intensive behavioral health care management through our mobile crisis outreach team with the goal of linking veterans to long term mental health services. The mission of The Harris Center to transform the lives of people in our community living with behavioral health and intellectual and development disabilities is strengthened by the work we are doing on this project with all these outstanding organizations.”

Agencies participating in the Houston Mayor’s Challenge include:City of Houston Veterans Affairs OfficeHouston VA Medical CenterTexas Health and Human Services Commission, Veteran ServicesThe Harris CenterHouston Police DepartmentHouston Fire DepartmentHouston Health DepartmentMental Health America of Greater Houston, Veterans Behavioral HealthCombined ArmsUTHealth Trauma and Resilience Center“Combined Arms is proud to play a role in the prevention of suicides in our community,” said Monique Rodriguez, Combined Arms social services manager. “Through the Houston Mayor’s Challenge, we are able to enhance our coordination of care for veterans who need mental health services, distribute VA gun locks and connect veterans to quality community resources.”

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide – and those who know a veteran in crisis – can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press one, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.
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Suspect Charged, Wanted in Fatal Shooting at 6742 Hillcroft Avenue

Sep 10, 2019
Charges have been filed against a suspect wanted in the fatal shooting of a man that occurred 6742 Hillcroft Avenue about 3:05 p.m. on Aug. 3.

The suspect, John Melendez (H/m, 30), is charged with murder in the 262nd State District Court.  A May, 2009 booking photo is attached to this news release.  Melendez remains wanted at this time. 

The victim, Jose Armas, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
HPD Homicide Division Officers M. Barrow and E. Martinez reported:

Officers responded to a shooting call in a business parking lot at the above address and learned Mr. Armas had been fatally shot.  Armas and a suspect were apparently involved in a road rage altercation when the suspect pulled a gun and shot the victim.  

Witnesses stated the suspect, described only as a Hispanic male in his 20s with a short haircut, fled the scene in a red mini-van.

Further investigation identified the suspect as John Melendez and, on Thursday (September 5), he was charged for his role in this incident.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Melendez is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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Applications Being Accepted for Police Chief Acevedo’s Youth Police Advisory Council

Sep 10, 2019
The Houston Police Department is inviting Houston area high school students to apply for the 2019-2020 Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC).

Students will address issues affecting youth and the community, participate in community service projects and attend youth leadership conferences throughout the state.  Additionally, the YPAC meets regularly with Chief of Police Art Acevedo and other top HPD officials.

Recent photos of YPAC members with Chief Acevedo are attached to this news release.

YPAC members are required to meet five times during the school year at the HPD Edward A. Thomas Building at 1200 Travis in downtown Houston.
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Suspect Arrested, Charged in Child Found Deceased at 7835 Grow Lane

Sep 5, 2019
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in connection with the death of a juvenile female found at 7835 Grow Lane about 3 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 2).

The suspect, Priscilla Torres (H/f, 27), is charged with tampering with evidence – human corpse in the 351st State District Court for her role in the death of her daughter, Sierra Patino, 5 years of age.  

A booking photo of Torres is attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Detectives L. Lange and C. Lamont reported:

Officers responded to a person down call at the apartment complex at the above address and found a female child, Sierra Patino, deceased inside an apartment.

Further investigation led to the identity of the child’s mother, Torres, as having a role in Sierra’s death.  She was subsequently charged and could face additional charges in the ongoing investigation. 

Investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences to determine Sierra’s cause of death.

Anyone with additional information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Shooting at 4118 Beran Drive

Sep 5, 2019
Houston police have arrested a suspect charged in the fatal shooting of a man that occurred at 4118 Beran Drive about 1:30 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 2).

The suspect, Abel Anuario Cruz (H/m, 77), is charged with murder in the 262nd State District Court.  He is accused of killing Jesus Andres Cejudo, 27.  A booking photo of Cruz is attached to this new release.

HPD Homicide Division Senior Police Officers W. Huff and J. Nguyen reported:

Officers responded to a report of a shooting at the above address and found Mr. Cejudo and Cruz both in the front yard.  Cruz had suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officers learned Cejudo was arguing with his ex-girlfriend at the location when Cruz (the female’s father) shot at Cejudo and a male child, who were sitting in a vehicle at the address.  Neither Cejudo nor the child was hurt and a witness was able to take the child to safety.  Cejudo and his ex-girlfriend continued to argue.  As Cejudo attempted to go to the front door of the residence to retrieve his child, Cruz shot him. 

Cruz, who reportedly did not say anything to Cejudo other than “leave,” remained at the scene and was subsequently charged for his role in the shooting.
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