This week (October 16-20) is National School Bus Safety Week and the WFPD would like to remind you of the following safety tips:
If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the lights start flashing.
It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
According to Texas statute, a driver – traveling in either direction on a roadway – must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal.
The driver may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed or the visual signal is no longer activated.
If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated.
However, if the lanes are separated by an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.
The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.
The Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind motorists the importance of stopping at a red light.
A crash caused by a driver who runs a red light is more likely to result in serious injury or death. Most people run red lights because they are in a hurry, when in fact they only save seconds. Deaths caused by red light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.
According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety red light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. In 2015, 771 people were killed and an estimated 137,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running. Over half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles who were hit by the red light runners.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported in 2015 that over 21,000 crashes occurred in the state that were caused by a driver running a red light; 108 of those crashes resulted in the death of an individual.
In 2016 there were 116 crash reports filed with the WFPD where a driver running a red light was a contributing factor, one of which resulted in a fatality.
Remember to always “Stop on Red.”
The Wichita Falls Police Department’s K-9 Unit has been working hard to get illegal narcotics off the city streets.
On Monday, October 9th at approximately 2:45 pm, the WFPD K-9 Unit along with the Organized Crime Unit conducted a traffic stop on a 2017 Hyundai for traffic violations in the area of Galveston and Holliday. During the course of the stop, the front seat passenger was identified as 29 year old Audrey Cargal. Cargal was wanted for outstanding warrants on previous narcotic charges. Incident to arrest for the warrants, Cargal was found to be in possession of 1.78 grams of methamphetamine. Cargal was charged with the outstanding warrant and possession of a controlled substance in penalty group one.
On Tuesday, October 10th at approximately 10:45 am, the K-9 Unit and OCU conducted a traffic stop on a 1998 Chevy Silverado for traffic violations in the area of West Rogers and Seymour Hwy. The driver was identified as 31 year old Liana Ann Noah. During the course of the traffic stop, it was found that Noah was wanted for outstanding warrants out of Wichita County. Noah was also found to be in possession of approximately 30.6 grams of methamphetamine. Noah was arrested and charged with the outstanding warrant and manufacture or delivery of a substance in penalty group one.
On Wednesday, October 11th at approximately 10:00 am, K-9 Unit and OCU conducted a traffic stop on a 2008 Dodge Caliber for traffic violations in the 1800 block of Grace. The driver was identified as 42 year old Michael Ruben Esquibel. During the course of the traffic stop WFPD K-9 Turko alerted to the presence of narcotic odors emitting from the Dodge. Officer conducted a search of the Dodge and located approximately 70.5 grams of methamphetamine and $1,355.00 in U.S. currency. Esquibel was arrested and charged with manufacture or delivery of substance in penalty group one.
Officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department participated in the National White Cane event alongside visually impaired members of our community. White Cane Safety Day celebrates blind and visually impaired people’s achievements in the United States every October. It also reminds people about the how the white cane is an important tool in helping the blind and the visually impaired live with greater independence.
On Monday, October 9th, at approximately 12:47 am a patrol officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department stopped a tan 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche for a traffic violation in the 2900 block of Hamilton. The vehicle was occupied by two females. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 58 year old Vickie Austin. When officers asked Austin for her driver’s license she stated she did not have one.
As officers were doing an inventory of the vehicle prior to having it impounded due to the driver not having a valid driver’s license officers located an open purse in the front seat. Inside the purse officers located a metal rod that is common with drug use along with two glass pipes. A further search revealed cubes of a white substance weighing 4.9 grams wrapped in a small plastic bag, another bag containing a white crystal type substance weighing 1.2 grams, multiple pills and over $1,600.00 in cash. The cubes showed a positive field test for cocaine and the white crystal showed a positive field test for methamphetamine. The pills were identified as Alprazolam which Austin was unable to provide a prescription for.
Austin was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where she was charged with two counts of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one and one count of possession of a controlled substance in penalty group three. The stopped occurred within 1000 feet of Hamilton Park which enhanced the charges due to it being a drug free zone.
The passenger was released on scene.
Officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department made multiple burglary arrests over the weekend.
The first occurred on Saturday, October 7th, at approximately 11:15 pm in the 1000 block of Central Freeway at Castaway Cove. Officers responded to this location in reference to a possible burglary in progress. Upon arrival they located 35 year old Steven Rodriguez and 43 year old Lisa Brumley inside one of the cabanas. There was also a pair of bolt cutters located near where they were. Officers were able to view a security video that showed Rodriguez using the bolt cutters to cut a hole in the fence surrounding the property. Officers also located a wheelbarrow near the fence where the hole was cut containing a water pump and a pressure washer valued at over $6,000.00.
Both Rodriguez and Brumley were arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where they were charged with burglary of a business.
The second burglary occurred on Sunday, October 8th, at approximately 8:00 pm in the 1800 block of 10th Street. Officers responded to this location in reference to a possible burglary in progress. Upon arrival they located 50 year old Victor Palmer and 48 year old Tammy Neal. Palmer advised that the residence belonged to a family member and he came to check on it. He stated that he found the front door unsecured and due to recent burglaries in the area he took a suitcase full of clothing, a vacuum cleaner, a cart of miscellaneous items, two decorative eagles and stereo equipment for safe keeping.
Officers made contact with the home owner and where advised that no one had permission to be in the residence or to take any property.
Both Palmer and Neal were arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where they were charged with burglary of a habitation.
On Monday, October 2nd, at approximately 2:00 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to a narcotics complaint in the 1200 block of Central Freeway to a hotel room at the Motel 6.
Upon arrival officers knocked on the door to the room. 26 year old Dustin Wachs answered the door and gave officers consent to search the room. Upon searching the room officers located a plastic bag containing a white crystalized substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine. It weighed 4.56 grams. Officers also located various drug paraphernalia in the room to include additional bags similar to the one that the narcotics was found in and a glass pipe that is consistent with smoking illegal narcotics. Officers also located over $500 in cash.
Wachs was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where he was charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one.
In August, a burglary occurred at a business in the 2000 blk of E. Scott. During the burglary, a trailer containing approx. $5000 worth of property including a zero turn mower, was stolen. Detectives worked the case and were able to identify 44 year old Cory Turkett as the suspect. Detectives were also able to recover the trailer and the property.
All this tied to a later trailer theft that occurred in September in the 2900 blk of Sheppard Access Rd. During the investigation of the previous case, detectives learned that Turkett was trying to sell a trailer that matched the trailer stolen from Sheppard Access Rd.
Detectives with the Property Crimes Unit and the Tactical Unit were able to set up a meeting with Turkett to purchase the stolen trailer. During the meeting, Turkett was arrested and the trailer was recovered.
Further investigation led to the recovery of a stolen trailer and 4-wheeler utility vehicle that had been stolen from a location in Vernon, TX.
William Dillard Muirhead
On Wednesday, September 20th, at approximately 11:15 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to a residence in the 2000 block of Indian Heights Blvd in reference to a check welfare. While officers were responding they were advised that the home owner had called 911 to report someone had made forced entry into their home.
When officers arrived on scene they observed a broken window and could hear someone yelling for help. Officers rushed inside and discovered the victim bleeding from his head. He was pointing across the room to a male who was lying on the floor. Officers were able to detain and identify the male as 46 year old William Dillard Muirhead.
Officers spoke with the victim who stated he heard the distinct sound of broken glass coming from the downstairs part of the residence. He advised that he called 911 for police assistance and while he was on the phone with 911 Muirhead came upstairs and went into his bed room. The victim advised William then began striking him in the face with both of his closed fists. He stated Muirhead continued the assault by taking the top lid of a toilet tank off and striking him multiple times about the head. It was at that time that officers entered the residence.
Muirhead was acting very erratic and was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation. After being cleared from the hospital Muirhead was transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with burglary of a habitation.
This year’s National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday October 3rd. If your neighborhood is planning on participating and would like an Officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department to come by and be a part of your event please contact Sergeant McClure at (940) 720-5016.
Also, did you know that over 6,700 Wichita Falls residents have joined the Wichita Falls Police Department on Nextdoor.com to get to know their neighbors and to take a stand against crime. There are more than 80 established Nextdoor neighborhoods within the city. Chances are you live in or near one. If not, please visit http://www.nextdoor.com and sign up. It’s free and simple. Iphone and Android apps are also available.
Here is what Nextdoor.com is all about:
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.
Thousands of neighborhoods nationwide are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.
People are using Nextdoor to:
- Quickly get the word out about a break-in.
- Organize a neighborhood watch group.
- Track down a trustworthy babysitter.
- Find out who does the best paint job in town.
- Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog.
- Find a new home for an outgrown bike.
- Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.
Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.
We look forward to seeing everyone on National Night Out October 3rd.