Guadalupe Streets

Photo Credit: Rhey Mancini | Daily Texan Staff

Students walking along the drag Thursday morning were filled with confusion as they watched local authorities cautiously examine a closed cooler.

University of Texas Police Department officers were dispatched to a call made by an unidentified UT faculty member around 8:23 a.m. regarding a mysterious, closed cooler left at the Northeast corner of West 24th and Guadalupe Streets, police said. After nearly an hour of investigation and examination, an officer opened the cooler and discovered it was empty, police said. According to police, the case was declared closed at 9:19 a.m.

Austinite Kati Adams, who watched the incident unfold, said many onlookers were on edge as more authorities arrived to deal with the mysterious cooler.

"They had the corner where the cooler was completely taped off and the whole block was surrounded by APD," she said "I sat there and just watched. I didn’t know what was going on."

Five officers from the Austin Police Department were called in to assist officers from the UTPD with the incident, police said.

Adams said when the cooler was opened, the relief of the officer examining the package was apparent.

“They brought in a guy that had what looked like a shield,” she said. “He went around every angle of it and finally opened the cooler and yelled ‘It’s empty!’”

Adams said the mass of authorities and concerned onlookers that had gathered around the cooler soon began to disperse, and the drag was back to normal within a few minutes.

“Very quickly, they were gone,” she said.

Tony Ortiz, manager of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a coffee shop across the street from where the cooler was found, said the incident did not seem to affect business for his establishment or halt other daily life in the area.

Printed on Friday, September 14, 2012 as: Cooler causes, concern, bomb squad responds

New charges have been filed following the June sexual assault of a UT student in Roberts Hall.

Further UTPD investigation into the June 24 incident has led to an additional charge against 21-year-old Ji Hun Choi, who was originally charged with assault causing bodily injury, a class A misdemeanor, and improper photography, a state jail felony. An arrest warrant affidavit issued Tuesday charged Choi with sexual assault, a second-degree felony, and set his bail at $100,000.

Michael Riojas, University of Texas Police Department detective, said June 24 Choi followed the victim from the intersection of 21st and Guadalupe Streets to her dorm at Roberts Hall. Choi then held the door open for her as she entered her dorm and proceeded to follow her. As she walked up the stairs, he began to photograph her with his phone and grabbed her from behind. 

Austin Police responded to a SWAT call Saturday afternoon after a man, who police believe is not a UT student, locked himself inside his apartment at the Venue on 29th and Guadalupe Streets. Police received a call at 2:30 p.m. from the man's roommate, who was worried because the man had not left the apartment for more than one day, said APD Sgt. Jamie Jobes. Police confirmed the 26-year-old man has a gun, and they began to talk to the suspect at 3 p.m. The man has refused to come out, and Jobes said police still have reason to be concerned for his safety. Chemical engineering junior Uzair Alaidroos said his sister who lives on the sixth floor of the complex has been stuck there since the beginning of the incident. "I haven't been able to do anything," he said. "I've just been calling my sister, telling her to lock the door and sit tight." Alaidroos, who lives on the third floor, said he had been outside for two hours, and after driving by a couple of hours before, the number of police cars has increased. Sociology senior Blaise Wilcott, who also lives in the building, said he has been waiting for an hour and has not been able to find out anything.