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Archive for the ‘Outdoor Safety’ Category

I can understand that there is a reason to be quiet about notification rather than send the residents into a panic; but, geez this apartment complex needs to exercise some sense. They are talking about an alleged sexual assault (just because it is alleged doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen; just means that the crime suspect is innocent until proven guilty).

Is the apartment complex going to sit there until all the facts are in? Perhaps, at least, a confirmation that a report has been made (either to their office or to the police authorities).

Are they going to wait for trial before they announce that the sexual assault predator was on their property? Now, that would indeed seem preposterous as everyone knows that the trials can take for-ever to come around and the suspect may or may not be actually found guilty from a matter of 6 months to a year, perhaps more — all depending on the caseload upon the Courts already — although everyone is entitled to a “speedy trial”.

What about the children of the residents who tend to play outside (sometimes even unintended)? Wouldn’t it make sense that the parents be notified so that they can keep an extra close eye on their children outdoors. After all, how can the apartment complex make the decision that just because the alleged MO might have been an adult to adult situation; how could they determine that the predator was someone who prefer children but merely found an opportunity of an adult?

What about those who tend to come in after sunset? Don’t they deserve to know that, while they probably do exercise caution and basic awareness of their surroundings, they might want to exercise an extra set of caution and awareness? How can the apartment complex (even if it is based on the Austin Police Department’s Detective recommendations) assure that the predator won’t continue to prey? Are they really willing to make that risk?

How would their ownership insurance of the property feel about the increased risk caused by the lack of response and concern to the safety of their residents? I think that they would be extremely alarmed by the slow reaction time of the management.

In Fox’s article, Neighbors Upset with Police for Not Being Told About Sex Assault, they mentioned:

Neighbors are angry and frightened after they say Austin Police left then in the dark about a sex crime in their own backyard. Residents at the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in Northwest Austin say they learned about the sex assault from the local news one month after the crime occurred. As FOX 7’s Foti Kallergis reports, the sexual assault suspect is still on the run.”

In Fox’s subsequent follow up article (appearing on the site on the same day), Sex Assault Suspect Still on Run, stated:

“One month after a man sexually assaults a woman in Northwest Austin, police have released a sketch of the suspect.

Investigators say last month, a woman was walking her dog near the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in the 11000 block of Four Points Drive shortly after 1:00 a.m. Police say just as she was opening her door to get into her apartment, a man came behind her, forced his way in, and sexually assaulted her.

 

For the last month, the victim has been working with A.P.D. to help identify the man.

 

He is described as:

 

White male
21 to 22-years-old
6′ to 6’2”
Muscular build, clean cut
Last seen wearing a baseball cap and long sleeve shirt..

 

Police describe him as a preppy fraternity boy meets construction worker. The victim was also able to describe a class ring attached to a chain and a thick belt buckle. You can see the police sketches of the suspect and his belongings in the photos associated with this story.

 

At this time detectives believe it was an isolated incident and even say the suspect may be living at the apartment complex.

 

“[The suspect] said he was very intoxicated, so he could have been someone who was coming home from drinking or something. It was more of a crime of opportunity than someone who was hiding out,” says Det. Scott Stanfield with the Austin Police Dept.

 

If you recognize the person in the sketch, you are asked to call the A.P.D. sex crimes tip line number at (512) 974-5095.”

A few things bother me, besides the story and story’s follow up have been posted on the same day, that (1) the incident occurred several months ago, (2) lack of response of the apartment management to notify the residents about the incident having occurred on the property a month ago when it occurred, (3) lack of duty of care from the management to make the residents safe, (4) them presuming that it might just be an isolated incident, and the possibility that the alleged perpetrator may live on the property.

Because I do live in Austin, I heard Channel 42’s News mention the name of the apartment complex of Tintara at Canyon Creek in their news broadcast tonight and on the video, while the stories written mention Jefferson at Canyon Creek. They are really two separate properties although they have access between the two properties since they are owned by the same owner, which is really a moot point. There are neighboring apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and businesses that deserved the right to know as well. As soon as they had the composite sketch, they should have posted it at the mailboxes of all the communities and windows of all the businesses. The chances that they would have the perpetrator by now would have dramatically increased by the prompt action.

Of course, the news broadcast mentions that the victim had just come along to the police station to provide a sketch description of the perpetrator this week; however, the sketch should have been released immediately.

UPDATE: Tintara Management respond as per Channel 42’s News, but blames the security officer for just notifying them of the incident. Somehow, I don’t think that the residents are going to be comforted any by that response read on the station.

UPDATE:  More information and details about the sexual assault crime from Austin Police Department.

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It is so not so unusual of story to hear about rattlesnakes this time of year. People get used to walking around, especially in the recent colder days where folks are not generally out and about walking in the woods, etc., and not seeing very many of the snakes out and about. Oftentimes, it isn’t the snake looking to bite you, unless you are in the water and see a water moscasin or you happen upon a snake curled up and you accidently approach it and/or step on it.

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Photos of Venomous Snakes of Texas

Photo of copperhead Photo of copperhead Photo of copperhead

Copperhead

Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)

 
Photo of rattlesnake Photo of timber rattler Photo of diamondback rattler

Rattlesnake

Timber Rattler

Diamondback Rattler

 
Photo of mojave rattlesnake Photo of blacktail rattler Photo of western rattler

Mojave Rattlesnake

Blacktail Rattler

Western Rattler

 
Photo of mojave rattlesnake Photo of blacktail rattler Photo of coral snake

Massasauga Rattler

Pygmy Rattlesnake

Coral Snake

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One certainly wants to use precaution when walking about in the rural areas; which is why the predominant footwear of a cowboy is generally the cowboy boot and the general style of pants is heavy denim! 🙂 The boots and pants offer an added protection, albeit not failproof, if a snake does strike from fear of being stepped on or killed.

In an apartment complex in the West/Lake Travis area, a man was recently walking his dog near a woodsy area. The dog happend upon a rattlesnake and was bit. A this time the small dog is still in the hospital recovering from the dog bite. Pet owners are not at fault, but they can be an extra observer set of eyes and not allow their pets go into tall grassy areas where the snakes may be lurking and hiding.

If anyone or any pet gets bit by a snake, one should follow the following set of guidelines until one can get to the hospital:

According to the American Red Cross, these steps should be taken:

  • wash the bite with soap and water
  • immobilize the bitten area
  • keep the bitten area lower than the heart
  • seek medical attention as soon as possible

Here’s a list of things not to do:

  • Do not eat or drink anything unless okayed by medical sources
  • Do not engage in strenuous physical activity
  • Do not apply oral (mouth) suction to bite
  • Do not cut into or incise bite marks with a blade
  • Do not drink any alcohol or use any medication
  • Do not apply either hot or cold packs
  • Do not apply a narrow, constrictive tourniquet such as a belt, necktie or cord
  • Do not use a stun gun or electric shock of any kind
  • Do not waste time or take any risks trying to kill, bag or bring in offending snake

Just go to the nearest healthcare facility!

For many, snakes are a source of recreation — rattlesnake festivals, snake farms, and more. However, for even those in the recreational aspects of the enjoyment of snakes, one always must exercise caution above all other concerns.

Have fun this Spring and Summer, but don’t dress inappropriately if you are in tall grassy areas, in woodsy areas, in or around rocky areas, etc. Think smart and be safe!

Check out these resources for additional information —

South Texas Poison Center

Texas Snakes

South Texas Herpetology Association (& HB1309)

Texas Herpetological Society

West Texas Herpetological Society

Brazos Valley Herpetological Society

Austin Herpetological Society

Dallas-Ft.Worth Herpetological Society

Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

Freer Rattlesnake Roundup

Texas Rattlesnake Sales

Texas Rattlesnake Recipes

Rattlesnake Roundup Locator

Rattlesnake Humor

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