Monday, September 30, 2013

                                                                THE COP SHOP

Suspect, victim arrested after he tries to throw her out of car

Police responded to reports of a man hitting a woman and trying to throw her out of a car in the 2300 block of South Loop 288 about 1:20 p.m. Sunday. They spotted the moving car on I35 near the University Drive exit and made a traffic stop.

They found the woman had injuries and took the 33-year-old man to jail on charges of family violence assault. But a computer check showed the 24-year-old woman had a outstanding warrant from Carrollton police for alcohol violations, so she was also taken to jail as well.

Other reports

3600 block of Marianne Street - A woman called for help about 10 p.m. Sunday. Arriving officers found the 42-year-old man had hit the 39-year-old woman in the face with a metal spatula, causing a cut to her eye. The man also had punched her in the jaw and kept her from leaving the house, according to the report. They charged him with family violence assault.

1700 block of McKinney Street - Officers arrived at Mack Park about 5:45 p.m. Sunday in response to a report that a man was choking a woman. They found the couple, and she said she had nearly fainted because of her impeded breath. Two witnesses backed up the 45-year-old woman's story of the attack. The 60-year-old man was charged with family violence assault/impeding breath. One of the witnesses had an outstanding warrant, and he also went to jail.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

                               THE COP SHOP

Driver missing after accident

Denton police, a University of North Texas search dog and Denton County deputies looked for the missing driver of a silver pickup truck early Saturday after he walked away from an accident with a head injury.
A caller reported about 2:55 a.m. that the truck left the roadway at the corner of Shady Shores Road and Lakeview and struck a tree. The caller said he found the man standing outside the truck with bleeding injuries to his head. He told the man he had called 911 and the man began walking away from the scene.
Denton police asked for help from a UNT search dog and handler but they found no sign of the driver. They asked county deputies to go to the man's house and see if he was there, but the deputies were unsuccessful in locating the man. An investigation is continuing.

Other reports

2200 block of Yorkshire - A 48-year-old disabled man told police Saturday morning that the person he lives with has been assaulting him for a long time. The man said the latest assault - from the person who was not identified as male or female - was carried out with a cane. He said he also has been struck in the back of the head with a frying pan and punched in the nose. Detectives are investigating.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

                                   THE COP SHOP

Wrong way driver arrested for car theft

An officer noticed a car driving the wrong way down Elm Street, which is a one-way street, about 4:40 a.m. Friday. The officer made a computer check and saw that the car had been reported stolen to Lewisville police.
The officer made a traffic stop on Mulberry Street at Carroll Boulevard. He arrested the 26-year-old female driver for theft over $1,500. A search of the car turned up four pipes used to smoke methamphetamines between the passenger seat and the center console. The officer arrested the 46-year-old male passenger for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Other reports

3500 block of East McKinney Street - A woman called police about 9:30 a.m. Friday to report that she was walking down the stairs from her apartment and a man standing below pulled down his pants and exposed himself to her. She said this is the second time the man has done this. She reported that the apartment complex maintenance man was chasing the suspect. The report did not reveal whether the maintenance man actually caught the suspect, but no arrests were made.

200 block of Bluebird Circle - A 27-year-old woman reported Friday that her husband had been assaulting her physically and sexually for the past year. One of the assaults put her in the hospital, she said. She now has left him and wants to press charges for the past crimes.

400 block of Foxwood Circle - A woman reported that her former boyfriend came to her home and stole her car. She told police a location where she believed her car might be found. Officers went to the location and the car was there. They retrieved some personal items belonging to the victim and returned them to her. They called a wrecker and had the car towed to an impound site. They told the woman where her car could be retrieved.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

                      THE COP SHOP

Elementary schooler attacks parents in parking lot

An elementary school official called police about 8:30 a.m. Monday to report that a student was attacking his parents in the school parking lot. The boy's mother asked the principal to call because she wanted to press charges, according to the report.

Other reports

200 block of Inman Street - A 19-year-old woman called for help about 2 p.m. Sunday, saying she was being assaulted by her former boyfriend in her apartment. The report did not give specifics, but the 19-year-old man was charged with unlawful restraint, assault that impeded breathing and interfering with an emergency call.

1100 block of Chapel Drive - A 79-year-old woman reported about 10:30 a.m. Sunday that someone had used information from her Facebook account to try to perpetrate a scam on some of her friends.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Horn blasts Burch for being over budget

Denton County Judge Mary Horn has fired another missile at Constable Precinct 4 Tim Burch - this time because he is over budget in nearly every area of his area of responsibility, and she has threatened to haul him in front of commissioners court for a public accounting if he doesn't keep his operating funds under control.
Messages between public officials are subject to open records. The following is a reprint of the message she sent to him.

September 18, 2013


Timothy Burch,

Constable Precinct #4

217 N. Oak Street

Roanoke, TX  76262-6615


Dear Constable Burch,


Please review the attached information regarding budgeted amounts and expenditures for your office to date for Fiscal Year 2013.  Each Constable Office receives a budget for a specific amount for these line items at the beginning of the fiscal year, with the expectation that if the amount expended over the course of the year exceeds the budgeted amount for any line item, your office will request fund transfers to cover the shortfall from within your own budget. 


As of September 18, 2013, you exceeded the budgeted amounts for line items 4230 Postage, 5010 Training and Education, 6270 Remote Access, 6610 Vehicle Repairs, and 6620 Tires and Tubes by $84.40, $87.12, $99.41, $1027.29, and $1847.70 respectively; and, you had no funds remaining in appropriate line items to transfer within your budget to cover your shortfall.  In addition, at $33,000 your office is budgeted the most funds for line item 4410 Gasoline among all six of the Constables offices and has come close to exceeding that amount as well as of this date.  In fact, your office has spent more in gasoline than any other Constable Office in FY2013 and over $8500 more than the average of all constable offices together.


This must stop.


The Commissioners Court approves the budget for all county offices, both elected and non-elected.  Through a lengthy budget process, we provide an adequate budget for all constables to perform their statutorily mandated duties, which are to “execute and return as provided by law each process, warrant, and precept that is directed to the constable and is delivered by a lawful officer.”  We are not obligated, however, to pay for any duties beyond those statutorily mandated, particularly if those other duties do not conform to a legally authorized county purpose.


The attached statistical data summarized by the Budget Office for all six Constables Offices, listing Civil Cases, Warrants Received, Warrants Cleared, Recalls, Bailiff Hours, and Traffic Citations per deputy does not indicate that your officers perform at a higher rate of service than officers across the county.  In fact, the actual data for FY2012 indicates that your office of 5 deputies completed service for warrants received, warrants cleared, and traffic citations issued per deputy at a significantly lower rate than any other constable’s office, while also performing below the average case load per deputy among all six constable offices for civil cases and recalls.  The statistical data available for actual numbers for FY2013 through today’s date corresponds to this same analysis.


Perhaps your office will be able to stay within the FY 2014 budget, which begins on October 1, 2013, if you strictly concentrate on performing the mandated duties within your own precinct.


Commissioners Court has an obligation to the county taxpayers to be fiscally responsible.  My office will continue to monitor the budgets and statistical data for all Denton County Constables Offices as we wind down FY2013 and commence FY2014.  If this same disturbing trend as noted above continues in the new fiscal year, you will be asked to appear before Commissioners Court for a thorough public discussion of the problem.







Mary Horn

Denton County Judge




Thursday, September 19, 2013

                                              THE COP SHOP

Denton police arrested a woman early Wednesday on several drug charges after catching her running away from cars parked on the street.
A caller phoned 911 about 3:30 a.m. to report seeing a man and woman trying the doors on cars in the 1800 block of Westminster. They ran toward a nearby motel when they saw the caller, according to the report.
Officers found a woman on Mesa Street matching the description and she appeared to be intoxicated on something other than alcohol. They found illegal drugs and K2 synthetic drugs in her clothing.
The arrested the woman on charges of public intoxication other than alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of a deadly drug. She also is being held on an outstanding warrant.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

                               THE COP SHOP

Couple fight over custody of pets

A woman called Denton police just after 11 p.m. Tuesday from the 600 block of Collins Street to report that her former boyfriend had assaulted her.
The victim said she had allowed him to come into the house while she was away to collect his belongings. But he was still in the house when she returned. He wanted to take their pets with him and she refused. During a heated argument over the pets, the man began beating her. Then he left. No word on whether he took the pets.

Other reports

5800 block of Eagle Mountain Drive - A woman reported Tuesday that for some time a stranger has been calling her from different telephone numbers harassing her and talking about sex. She said she told the man she doesn't know him and that he has a wrong number. The man told her he would stop calling if she game him money.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Constable Burch did not produce time sheet for off-duty work the night he wrecked the county car

A few weeks ago I printed information from an accident report made in Tarrant County on a night when Precinct 4 Constable Tim Burch was involved in an accident near Grapevine while working an off-duty job there in a county car. The car was destroyed and so far the insurance has not paid off on it.

Burch went on a rant against me and a couple of other people on a Facebook post, calling this blog "Moments of Stupidity," and my work "creative journalism."

He suggested that I should have done some research. So I did.

I made open records requests for a number of public documents out of Burch's office. Here's what I have learned so far:

I asked for time sheets for all his off-duty work since January 1. I received copies from county offices of time sheets he turned in. They begin with one 9.5 hour stint on February 16. He shows no further off-duty work until June 1. The accident took place February 21. Was he working that night or not? I want to emphasize that the accident was not his fault. The report states that he was blocking an intersection for a construction crew, so it seems that he was working the off-duty job. So why did he not turn in a time sheet for it?

The time sheets are on report forms from Hall Investigations in Arlington. Owner is Brenda Hall. Coincidentally, records show Brenda Hall also is a county employee, working in Tim Burch's office. In accordance with the open records request for off-duty time sheets of all Precinct 4 employees, Burch turned in time sheets for himself and Deputy Barry Minoff. 

Under "job" the time sheets show TXDOT Hiway 75, McKinney. It's possible that is the physical address of the TXDOT office there. I asked for a work contract between Precinct 4 and TXDOT and didn't receive one. I looked at the Hall Investigations site and it appears that Hall has the contract and the officers work using it.

Burch's time sheets show that he worked 130.5 hours from February 16 to August 15. Most of those hours were during the night. Must have been hard to get up and go to his county job after an overnighter like that.

I also made an open records request for gasoline receipts that showed Burch and Minoff paid for their own gas to work these jobs. Five of Burch's slips, scattered throughout the 8 months time I asked for, were not legible. The others showed varying amounts of gas purchased, each with hand-written notes that he personally paid for gas, began March 18 and ended August 25. So apparently he did not pay for gas the night in February when the car was wrecked.

But the gas receipts, minus the five I couldn't read, totaled $2,909,11.

Most of the gas was purchased either from a convenience store in Roanoke or Grapevine. Some of his usage appears to have been high. On May 4 he bought $60.01 worth of gas in Roanake. The next day he bought $40.01 of gas in Grapevine. On May16, he bought $40 worth of gas in Lake Dallas. And on May 18 he bought $29 gas in Grapevine and $45 gas in Roanoke. Bear in mind the county buys the gasoline for on-duty work.

The really interesting part about that is that Burch turned in absolutely no time sheets for off-duty work in May.

I am not sure what all this means. But it is puzzling.

I have not finished going through the documents I was furnished in reply to my open records requests. I will keep you posted. And I do hope that Mr. Burch is satisfied that I am not using creative journalism but am doing research as he said I should.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

                              COMING SOON

My new book, Too Old To Die Young, Confessions of a Baby Boomer, will be available for download from one day this week.

Anyone who was born shortly after their fathers returned from World War II will understand this book and will laugh at the adventures of a Baby Boomer in a youth-obsessed world.

The chapters range from rearing children to wrinkles to finding yourself alone in a strange world and learning to cope with elder dating, all written with tongue in cheek.

The book is funny and insightful and I hope you will read it. It will cost $5.95 and I will let you know when it is available.


Friday, September 13, 2013

                                THE COP SHOP

Police find crack lab

Officers responding to a domestic disturbance Thursday could not determine whether the man or the woman was the aggressor. While they were talking to the pair they noticed a number of clues that crack cocaine was being cooked in the apartment. The woman decided to leave for the night. The officers asked the man for permission to search the apartment and he agreed. They found crack, the ingredients to cook it and other paraphernalia. They seized the evidence but made no arrest at that time. An investigation is ongoing.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


                                                          THE COP SHOP

Woman promised $2.5 million, loses $3,200

A 61-year-old woman reported to police Wednesday that she believes she was the victim of a scam. She said she recently received a telephone call from someone who congratulated her on winning $2.5 million and a new car. In order to retrieve her prize she needed to buy $3,200 worth of prepaid cards and then call back with the numbers on the cards. The woman did as she was instructed. But she has not heard back from the caller and has not received her money or her card, according to the report.

Other reports

600 block of Boardwalk - Someone slipped in a woman's back door while she was sitting out front Wednesday evening and stole from her. The 79-year-old woman said she was sitting in her carport about 7:40 p.m. and decided to go back inside her home. When she was back inside she realized that her back door had been unlocked and she was missing a debit card, her drivers license and some cash.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

                                  THE COP SHOP

Information sparse on crime reports

This was one of those days when reporting officers did not write enough information on the reports made available to the press to actually figure out what happened. I hate to complain about the hard-working officers who do this tough job, but I don't want you to think that I am just being lazy.

Here is what I was able to tell from the reports:

An officer responded to a hospital emergency room about 9 p.m. Tuesday and took a report about a 2-year-old boy who was being treated for some sort of injuries, allegedly inflicted by a babysitter.

An officer responded about 9 p.m. Tuesday to the 300 block of Ruth Street where a woman was pushed from a moving car. She was taken to a hospital emergency room.

An officer responded to a bar in the 1700 block of Teasley Lane about 4 p.m. Tuesday where a woman made a report. The report alleged, in different places, attempted sexual assault and aggravated assault.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

                            THE COP SHOP

Lug nuts removed from car

A 35-year-old woman reported to police about 4 a.m. Monday that someone apparently removed the lug nuts from all the wheels of her car. She said she began driving the car and one of the wheels rolled completely away, disabling the car. She discovered that all the lug nuts were missing. She found them on the pavement near where her car had been parked in the 700 block of Frame Street.

Other reports

2400 block of West University Drive - Police are investigating a report Monday morning that someone in Jamaica has been defrauding an 86-year-old woman. The officers learned that the woman had received several telephone calls from Jamaica informing her that she had won a car. She had been instructed to send money to pay various fees. So far, the woman had lost $975 in the scam.

Monday, September 9, 2013

                             THE COP SHOP

Suspect confronts cop, complies at sight of Taser

An officer who was sent to a family violence call in the 700 block of Fort Worth Drive Sunday night was greeted by a number of upset people who shouted at him, "He's trying to kill her!" The witnesses directed the officer to the third floor of an apartment building where he saw a man who had two women cornered. The suspect balled his fists, screamed obscenities and challenged the officer to fight. The officer pointed his Taser at the man and told him to turn around, put his hands behind his back and drop to his knees. The suspect did as he was told. After an investigation, the suspect was charged with assault causes injury/family violence, assault and burglary.

Other reports

2400 block of Tahoe - A man called police about 1 p.m. Sunday to report that his wife and 6-year-old daughter were being held hostage by the wife's employer. The employer believes the wife stole $30,000 from him, the husband said. He refuses to release the wife until her parents give him the money.

9100 block of Teasley Lane - Police responded to a call for help about 10:30 p.m. Friday and found a bruised and upset 68-year-old woman. The woman said that she and her husband were in a car with him at the wheel. He was highly intoxicated and they were arguing. He stopped the car in the street and pulled her out of the car, she said. Then he drove away leaving her lying in the street. She wants to press charges.

Friday, September 6, 2013

County Judge Mary Horn sent a letter to Constable Precinct 4 Tim Burch on September 4 regarding his use of county vehicles to perform off duty jobs in other counties.

This letter is subject to open records laws and I made an open records request. The following is the letter in its entirety:

Dear Constable Burch:

Article III, 52(e) of the Texas Constitution prohibits a county from granting things of value for private use. Officers who perform off-duty work receive a private benefit. Thus, when a county patrol vehicle is used in the performance of off-duty work, it is put to a private use. Such private use is permissible so long as the predominant purpose of the work is to accomplish an authorized public purpose.

Reports have been received that you have been using your county patrol vehicle to perform off-duty work outside of Denton County. This letter is to inform you that I consider this to be a misuse of Denton County property.

The Attorney General has specifically held that county patrol vehicles may be used for off-duty work only if the predominant purpose is to conserve the peace within the county, the elected official retains control over the vehicles in a manner that ensures the peace will be conserved, and the county actually receives this public benefit. Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. No. GA-0480 (2006).

Off-duty work performed outside of Denton County does not conserve the peace within Denton County or serve any other legally authorized county purpose. Therefore, I consider your use of a county patrol vehicle for this purpose to be a misuse of county property for your own private benefit. I request that you discontinue this practice immediately, and inform your deputies that you lack the authority to grant them the use of their county vehicles while working off-duty in other counties.

In using county property for your sole private benefit, you place the taxpayers of Denton County at risk for personal loss. Please understand that any officer who engages in this practice could be held personally responsible.


Mary Horn
County Judge

This letter was written after a traffic accident Burch was involved in earlier this year that destroyed a county-owned patrol car. He was in Tarrant County working an off-duty job with TXDOT. So far the insurance company has not paid off on the car or the $9,000 worth of special police add-ons.
Burch told the commissioners court on Tuesday that an individual was donating a fully-police-equipped Tahoe to his department.

Burch has called this blog "Moments of Stupidity" and accused this writer of being a "creative journalist." This stuff is not my creativity at work, folks.

I will report further facts as I find them.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

                            THE COP SHOP

Man exposes himself to woman and child

Denton police are looking for a man who exposed himself to a 24-year-old woman and her 2-year-old girl Wednesday night in the parking lot of a big-box store in the 1800 block of South Loop 288. The woman was able to give a good description of the suspect and she also remembered the license number of the car he left in. Police are seeking surveillance video from the store to further aid in their investigation.

Other reports

3900 block of East McKinney Street - A female clerk in a convenience store reported about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday that a man came into the store, told her he had a gun and demanded cash and cigarettes. No further information was provided in the report.

3500 block of Hudsonwood - A woman called for help about 3:25 a.m. Wednesday, saying two men were trying to remove a wheel and tire from her car in front of her house. She described the men. Officers chased and caught one man running away and found the second suspect nearby. They were charged with attempted theft. One of the men also was being held on outstanding warrants.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

                          THE COP SHOP

Woman assaults jailer

A Denton police officer reported Tuesday that he was looking for a woman with outstanding warrants on Saturday and the female he questioned denied being that woman and gave another name and date of birth. He checked on her information and found it to be a lie. He returned Tuesday about 12:45 a.m. and took her into custody. She admitted she had given him false information during his first visit. But once they got to the jail, she became violent. She began banging her head on a wall and hitting a brick wall with her fist. A female jailer tried to restrain her for her own safety and the prisoner attacked the jailer. She hit her in the face with her fist, according to the police report, opening a three-inch cut under the jailer's eye. The 30-year-old woman was charged with assault on a public servant, resisting arrest, giving false information to a police officer and was also being held on two outstanding warrants.

Other reports

1800 block of West University Drive - A man came into a pawn shop about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and reached over the counter, taking about $7,500 worth of rings. Later the man was arrested after trying to sell the rings. No further information was available.

North Loop 288 at Elm Street - A 14-year-old girl jumped from a moving car about 4:15 p.m. and was taken by CareFlight emergency helicopter to a Metroplex hospital for treatment. No further information was available.

Monday, September 2, 2013

                                 THE COP SHOP

Stranger steals rings from elderly man

A 71-year-old man told police Saturday that he allowed a stranger into his house in the 800 block of Mack Drive about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. He only realized on Saturday that while he was distracted the stranger entered his bedroom, went through a closet and took four gold rings. No further information was available about the incident.

Other reports

3000 block of North Elm Street - A man reported Saturday that he was driving when someone in another vehicle threw something out the window that struck his car. He gave chase and the two cars pulled over in a parking lot. The other driver threw an aerosol can at him, hitting him in the head, he said, and then left the scene.

800 block of West University Drive - A woman reported Sunday about 9:30 a.m. that someone broke into her office and took an electronic tablet and the keys to her car. Then the suspect left in the car, according to the report.

900 block of Dixon Street - Officers contacted a woman being treated in a hospital emergency room about 3 p.m. Sunday. She had a concussion and reported that her stepson shoved a door at her, striking her in the head.