Anthony Hipolito

A 19-year-old female bicyclist was struck by a white Nissan Wednesday morning at 7:42 a.m. at the intersection of West 24th Street and Rio Grande Street.

Police reported the bicyclist was conscious at the scene. Austin Police Department Corporal Anthony Hipolito said the bicyclist admitted to officers at the scene that she did not have the right of way when turning. The bicyclist suffered minor injuries to her head and face, police said. Her name will be released when a public report of the accident is issued within the next couple of days.

Printed on Thursday, August 30, 2012 as: Bicyclist hit crossing on 24th and Rio Grande

Stabbing at 25th and Leon leaves one wounded

Parts of 25th street were blocked off after a non-fatal stabbing last night. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Porter)
Parts of 25th street were blocked off after a non-fatal stabbing last night. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Porter)

An individual was stabbed around midnight at 25th and Leon Streets outside of a fraternity house, Austin Police confirmed.

APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito could not confirm which fraternity house it was, although Pi Kappa Alpha, Omicron and Sigma Alpha Mu are all in the vicinity

The victim was transferred to Brackenridge hospital last night, although Police could not give information on the identity of the victim or suspect. Police said the stab wounds were likely not life-threatening and as of this morning Hipolito confirmed that the victim is still likely to recover.

Hipolito said the suspect was not apprehended last night and is still at large. He said APD is working with some leads and several witnesses are being interviewed, although he did not know if a composite would be released.

Hipolito said this will not change the way APD officers plan to operate during Roundup events tonight. He said APD officials do not plan to allocate more resources to the West Campus area this evening in light of the stabbing.

A recent hit-and-run accident near the UT campus has led to greater concern about cyclist safety in Austin.

Evan Baird, 22, was traveling home by bike from work south on Guadalupe Street at 38th Street when he was struck by a car. The vehicle sped off after colliding with Baird and he has been in the hospital since with debilitating injuries.

Evan’s mother, Sarah Baird, said he has traumatic brain injury, a shattered clavicle, a broken wrist and a fractured knee. She said the bone surrounding his left eardrum is shattered and he has been bleeding extensively out of his mouth, nose and ears. The doctors are seeing improvement, but Evan has a long way to go before a full recovery, his mother said.

The suspect in this case has still not been apprehended according to Austin Police Department Cpl. Anthony Hipolito.

“Baird was struck by a small black compact car believed to be a Hyundai,” said Hipolito. “The black car was last seen [driving] westbound on West 38th Street.”

Hipolito said the car has a “coexist” sticker on the rear bumper and has front-end damage from the collision with Baird.

UT biology senior Erika Almodovar said she was at the scene when the accident happened.

“I heard a loud crunching noise,” said Almodovar. “I jumped out of the car and ran to where I could see Evan laying on the ground.”

Almodovar said she stayed with Baird until Emergency Medical Services arrived, while her friend Katherine Li, also a UT student, called 9-1-1.

“I wish [the driver would] own up for his mistake,” said Almodovar. “It’s frustrating because I have a lot of friends who are bikers.”

Almodovar said she is now more fearful for the safety of cyclists.

“Knowing that there are people like this out there certainly makes me reconsider the safety of cycling on campus.”

Sarah Baird said Evan has been visited by local cyclists and concerned Austin residents who he has never met. She said the reaction of the cycling community has been a great comfort to Evan’s family.

“It has been devastating,” Baird said. “We are so grateful that he is alive, but he is experiencing a lot of frustration and agitation due to the fact that the driver has not been found.”

Baird said APD Chief Art Acevedo has spoken out recently about transportation safety issues in light of Evan’s accident and the fatal MetroRail crash that happened last Monday.

“I am in 100 percent support of making laws stricter against motorists who injure pedestrians and cyclists,” said Sara Baird.

Kate Bedford, coordinator of the Campus Safe Cycling Campaign at UT, said Baird’s accident is a symptom of a larger problem at UT. Bedford said she and other concerned students have been and will continue to work with Parking and Transportation Services to increase the safety of sidewalks and roads, and to raise motorist awareness of cyclists.

“Austin, and the University of Texas especially, are in a state of flux which is proving to be difficult and dangerous for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians,” Bedford said. “The road and sidewalk system are not well designed for our time — a time in which we are becoming more and more concerned with using less gasoline and are interested in riding bicycles/walking more.” 

Printed on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 as: Hit-and-run raises safety concerns for cyclists

The Austin Police Department has enlisted the help of the UT Police Department to stop a string of West Campus burglaries hoping to gain crime tips from students who read Campus Watch announcements.

APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito said there were 10 burglaries of West Campus residences from February 26 to April 16.

He said the stolen items were mostly expensive electronics, including flat-screen televisions, laptops and iPads. Hipolito said five out of the 10 burglaries involved unlocked doors or windows, and in many of the cases, the victims were intoxicated when the burglaries happened. APD and UTPD officials said they have not identified a specific suspect, but have reason to believe those involved in the crimes may be neighbors or acquaintances of the victims.

“In one instance the door of a resident’s home was kicked in, but she did not hear it or wake up,” Hipolito said. “It is not possible at this point to determine whether or not these crimes were committed by a single person. It is very likely that the suspect is a neighbor or a friend of the people who were robbed.”

Officer Darrell Halstead, UTPD crime prevention specialist, said UTPD has worked with APD in the past to locate suspects in criminal investigations. He said students who subscribe to the Campus Watch have a history of reporting suspicious behavior and helping the Austin police catch criminals.

Although Halstead urged students with any information to contact UTPD, both Halstead and UTPD Chief Robert Dahlstrom said they were not aware of any tips that had been reported.

2011 UT alumnus Trevor Nichols said he lives on 21st and Rio Grande streets, a few blocks from several of the burglary locations, but he had not heard of the string of incidences.

“You expect there to be a few incidences just because West Campus is such a large area, but I am surprised to hear that there were so many.” Nichols said.

He said he does not think it is uncommon for residents throwing a party to forget to lock their doors after everyone leaves.

“After your guests are gone, you usually just end up crashing on the couch and watching TV,” Nichols said. “I think that can be hugely dangerous, because everyone who has been in the neighborhood recently knows that you just had a party and your doors are probably still unlocked.”

Nichols said he is very careful to keep the door to his apartment locked, but he knows that his roommates and others in his neighborhood are not as cautious.

Printed on Friday,  April 27, 2012 as: West Campus thieves target expensive electronics 

A recent report from the Office of the Medical Examiner revealed more information about the suicide of James Loren Brown who is a suspect in several assaults as well as the Jan. 1 murder of Esme Barrera.

Brown died from asphyxiation by placing a plastic bag over his head, said Austin Police Department spokesman Anthony Hipolito.

“Mr. Brown’s DNA is linked to seven assaults as of right now,” Hipolito said. “Although DNA was not recovered from the homicide scene, Brown is still the prime suspect for ‘Murder One’ of Esme Barrera on New Year’s Day.”

He said APD has circumstantial evidence to connect Brown to the Jan. 1 murder of Barrera, an Austin resident and avid music fan. The investigation is still open and APD is exhausting all resources to further connect Brown to the homicide, although most of the DNA analysis has already been conducted, Hipolito said.

“The homicide unit will continue to look at all the evidence as we attempt to put the pieces of this puzzle together,” Hipolito said. “We are still fairly confident that Brown was involved in this incident and that he will remain the primary suspect.”

Austin Police Department officers responded to a 9-1-1 call Sunday reporting a deceased person in a parking garage near the Dobie Center.

The call was placed at 4:10 p.m. on Sunday reporting a dead body spotted at 2000 Whitis Avenue, said APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito. Hipolito said that the incident is under investigation by homicide detectives from APD.

Hipolito did not give any more information about the deceased person, and the detectives investigating the case were not available for comment as of Monday. UT Police Department Capt. Julie Gillespie said that UTPD had not been notified of any deceased person report near campus as of Monday afternoon.

Anya Cranmer, electrical engineering sophomore and Dobie Center resident, said she was alerted to the presence of the body on Sunday afternoon by a friend who was walking in the area.

“We walked over to the [Whitis Place Condominiums] in order to see what the situation was,” Cranmer said.

Cranmer said the deceased person appeared to be male and was approximately 40 years old.

She said there were numerous APD police cars in the vicinity, as well as a medical examiner, although she saw no representatives of UTPD. Officers had set up caution tape and were taking pictures when she passed by, Cranmer said.

She said she still felt safe living in the Dobie Center, especially because the deceased person did not appear to be a student. She also said she had been told by a resident assistant in the dormitory that the man had died of dehydration.

Printed on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 as: Body found near Dobie Center under investigation

The Austin Police Department recorded an increase in DWIs issued in the West Campus area during Roundup last weekend, and the overall number of police reports filed went down slightly.

APD officers addressed concerns with parties at several fraternity houses in West Campus, including ones at Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon, according to APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito.

Fourteen police reports for Driving While Intoxicated charges were filed last weekend in Baker sector, which includes the West Campus area, according to Hipolito and police records. During Roundup weekend last year, there were only four DWI reports filed, said Hipolito.

Although the number of DWIs increased, the total number of filed police reports for all offenses did not change much between this year and last year, according to records released by the police. In 2011, there were 167 reports filed in Baker sector and last weekend there were 160.

Civil engineering and Plan II freshman Aliyah McRoberts said she knew of several parties that were shut down on Saturday.

“I was at Kappa Sig when the police busted the party,” McRoberts said. “We were just hanging out waiting for Yung Joc [the artist scheduled to perform at the party] when we saw a helicopter circling over the house. When the cops came storming in, they were holding flashlights and there were lights from the police cars and the helicopter everywhere.”

She said officers filed Minor in Possession charges for some people who were holding drinks but mostly just told attendees to leave.

“Despite it all, I still had a really good time at Roundup,” McRoberts said. “I think that the police were reacting to the person getting stabbed and trying to keep something like that from happening again.”

Hipolito told The Daily Texan on Saturday that an individual was stabbed outside of a fraternity house late Friday night near the intersection of 25th and Leon Streets. He said the victim was taken almost immediately to University Medical Center Brackenridge, and the injuries were not life-threatening. Police have not connected the stabbing to Roundup. As of Saturday, the suspect was not in APD custody, although detectives had some leads and were interviewing witnesses. The detective investigating the stabbing did not return calls for comment.

Journalism sophomore Risa Morris said she observed the aftermath of the stabbing from her apartment window.

“I witnessed a boy lying on the ground surrounded by police, EMTs and bystanders,” Morris said. “I did not see him until I heard the sirens, so I don’t know how long it took for the police to show up.”

Morris said she did not think Roundup was responsible for the stabbing.

“Since it did not happen at any Roundup event — it happened on the side of the road — it did not affect my opinion of Roundup and I continued to attend the rest of the events for the weekend,” Morris said.

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: Roundup weekend attracts participants despite crimes

Austin Police Department and University administrators took extra precautions to ensure student safety at Roundup, the annual Greek philanthropy and social event. Despite such efforts, the event included a violent altercation at 25th and Leon Street, Friday at midnight.

APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito said the stabbing was non-lethal and occurred outside of a fraternity house in West Campus. Although officials have not confirmed if the stabbing is connected to Roundup, fraternity houses Pi Kappa Alpha, Omicron and Sigma Alpha Mu are all in the area.

Hipolito said the victim was transferred to Brackenridge Hospital, although the suspect was not apprehended. Hipolito said police have been interviewing witnesses and are currently investigating several leads.

UT spokeswoman Marcia Gibbs said Roundup has not been an official University activity since 1990. However, she said the Interfraternity Council and the University Panhellenic Council, concerned about campus safety and crime during Roundup, instituted a wristband requirement for the students’ own benefit and to prevent high school students from attending the events. Students could get a wristband at various locations by showing their college student ID.

“Over the years, at the request of the Interfraternity Council and University Panhellenic, the University has worked and continues to work with these organizations on developing effective risk management policies and measures to ensure safety at their events,” Gibbs said.

Psychology freshman Jacky Vorlop said security guards were present at several Roundup parties, checking to make sure that attendees had the required wristbands. She said the mandatory wristbands not only kept high school students out, but many college students too, as the University ran out of wristbands at one point.

“On Saturday the police were really on-call, and if you didn’t have a wristband ... but you had a student I.D., that didn’t work,” Vorlop said.

However, Plan II freshman Parker Berg said the crowds contributed to the positive experience of Roundup.

“If there are a million people milling around on West Campus, it’s going to be fun,” Berg said.

Berg said the wristbands might have been helpful in keeping some high school students out, but he did not think it kept them all out.

“I think it all comes down to who you know, just like any other party,” Berg said.

Nate Sokolski, vice-president of Alpha Tau Omega, said he felt the wristbands was an overkill measure taken by the Interfraternity Council.

“If the IFC wants to have no involvement with a fraternity party, they shouldn’t have a wristband that says IFC on it,” Sokolski said. “It’s silly, I understand they’re doing it because it’s something I guess they should do, but I don’t see the purpose of it.”

For example, Sokolski said he did not understand why wristbands were needed for philanthropy events.

“There are a lot of hypotheticals that really make these wristbands pretty imperfect, and I don’t think it’s done a good job,” Sokolski said.

Received anonymously on a CD, this in one of the only pieces of evidence of the assault that occured aroun

The Austin Police Department is requesting help in locating the unidentified victim and suspect in a violent assault that occurred in the 700 block of San Jacinto Boulevard on the morning of Jan. 8.

Cpl. Anthony Hipolito said the attack occurred at around 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 8, but the victim did not contact police after the assault. He said a witness gave detectives pictures of the incident on Jan. 28, almost three weeks after the attack.

“There was never a police report made for this incident,” Hipolito said. “We do not have a victim, a victim’s information or a suspect.”

Hipolito said the witness gave representatives of APD a CD containing photographs depicting several bystanders as well as someone being assaulted.

“The photos were given in person to an officer,” Hipolito said. “We don’t know who dropped them off. That is part of the problem.”

Hipolito said detectives are looking for information regarding the incident. He said individuals who witnessed something in the 700 block of San Jacinto Boulevard on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 8 or who have information about the incident should call APD detectives at (512) 974-5515.

Police are currently investigating the break-in of a woman’s West Campus apartment that occurred yesterday at 4:18 a.m. as she was sleeping.

Upon waking up, the woman screamed, causing the intruder to flee the scene without making any attempt to attack the woman, said Austin Police Department spokesman Cpl. Anthony Hipolito.

APD arrived at the woman’s apartment at 2104 San Gabriel St. after she called 9-1-1, he said.

“She woke up to see someone at her bedside table, screamed and called 9-1-1,” Hipolito said.

APD does not know whether or not this attack is related to Esme Barrera’s Jan. 1 murder or the other December and January assaults, and it is too early in the investigation to be sure of anything, Hipolito said.

“The investigation is still very preliminary, and the woman was not able to give a description of her attacker,” Hipolito said.

The Police request that if anyone has information about the break-in they call CrimeStoppers at (512) 472-TIPS.