Category Archives: Fort Worth

Ft. Worth Mayor Parker delivers a message regarding trial of former Ft. Worth officer

Atatiana Jefferson (L) and Former Ft. Worth Officer Aaron Dean (R)

The presiding judge has not yet set a date for the criminal trial of a former Fort Worth police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson in October 2019.

Mayor Mattie Parker on Friday shared a message with the Fort Worth community regarding the pending trial timeline:

“I hear, and share in, our community’s growing concern regarding the criminal trial of former City of Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean.

“Until this criminal trial is resolved, Fort Worth cannot reconcile or move forward as a more unified community, and more importantly, Atatiana Jefferson’s family and friends cannot begin to find healing.

“The full responsibility and sole authority to set the trial date lies with Judge Hagerman, and the city has no control over when the trial moves forward. I realize that Tarrant County courts are balancing a full docket with hundreds of cases that are lagging behind schedule due to the effects of the pandemic.

“Despite these obstacles, it is imperative that a trial date be set as soon as possible.

“As mayor, I am committed to ensuring the City of Fort Worth honors Atatiana Jefferson’s legacy and the family she left behind. I will be reaching out to her family to listen and better understand the best ways to accomplish that goal.”

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo canceled due to COVID-19

Originally set to take place Jan. 15-Feb. 6, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo will not be held in 2021.

Members of FWSSR executive committee voted Oct. 6 to cancel next year’s show after consulting with infectious disease experts and public health professionals. According to an organizational release, the stock show and rodeo draws more than 1.2 million guests annually and would create a high risk for further community spread of COVID-19.

“This is a heartbreaking decision for our leadership and was not made lightly,” FWSSR President Brad Barnes said in the release.

Read more from Community Impact…

The City of Fort Worth will host the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS)

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 11.29.18 AMThe City of Fort Worth in conjunction with Battelle Memorial Institute, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (NCTTRAC) will begin accepting N95 filtration masks that have been used by First Responders or Health Care Professionals. Each mask will be inspected and complete a through decontamination process up to twenty times enhancing the life expectancy of this protective equipment important in the fight against Covid-19.

In order to allow current personal protective equipment (PPE) inventories to continue to stay above minimum numbers the FDA has approved Battelle to decontaminate N95 masks that are routinely considerable disposable. The site in Fort Worth will eventually be able to process up to 80,000 masks every 24 hours. The Battelle/Fort Worth site will serve as a regional hub and serve Texans from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods.

Health Care Organizations and First Responder Agencies will need to register with Battelle to receive information. “We are pleased to partner with a highly recognized organization such as Battelle to help coordinate this process of prolonging our PPE” said Ft. Worth Fire Chief James Davis. “It will allow Fort Worth to help our regional healthcare partners while continuing to provide care and maintain our inventory of N95 masks”.

For further information about Battelle and their process please visit their website at https://www.battelle.org.

Here’s Where You Can Get A COVID-19 Test For Free In DFW

BY WILL MADDOX 

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A COVID-19 mobile testing facility in New York, not unlike what you’ll find at Ellis Davis Field House and the American Airlines Center. ((U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Amouris Coss // Flickr Creative Commons)

MD Medical Group will be offering free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at nine of its DFW clinics. The tests will still require patients to be screened for flu and strep throat prior to COVID-19 testing, and appointments are required.

The state of Texas has some of the worst testing rates, and researchers predict that many of the hardest hit areas will be low-income neighborhoods in Dallas, which is also lacking data about who has been tested so far. Making testing geographically and financially accessible is important if the virus is going to be contained.

Read more from D Magazine…

‘We’re damn proud of it’: Fort Worth police chief praises community for finding Salem Sabatka

By Jake Harris

Updated at 8:35 p.m. Monday, May 20 with new information on Michael Webb’s bond amount.

Editor’s note: Due to the horrifying nature of this crime and the fact that the victim is a minor, WFAA will no longer show Salem Sabatka’s picture.

Less than 24 hours after she was kidnapped from her mother while taking a walk in their Fort Worth neighborhood, 8-year-old Salem Sabatka is back with her family and her suspected kidnapper is behind bars.

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Webb

Police have not yet released a motive for the kidnapping, carried out by 51-year-old Michael Webb of Tyler, who has a criminal record with a history of terroristic threats, sex assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, among others, according to records.

Read more from WFAA…

Lockheed Martin Makes Students’ Designs Come to Life

POSTED BY: DFWNEWSFLASH

Fort Worth — Fort Worth ISD’s Western Hills High School’s STEM class received a surprise on Thursday, April 25, courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

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Photo: Stacey Doud

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) class has been designing 2-D models of innovative aircraft that may help solve practical problems which hamper hurricane and earthquake relief efforts.

Their classroom was secretly “renovated” for the day by Lockheed Martin, which provided equipment the students used to turn their 2-D designs into 3-D realities.

Read more from The Rambler…

Woman attacked while on trail in north Fort Worth, police search for suspect

BY NICHOLE MANNA

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 3.42.45 PMA woman who was on a trail in north Fort Worth was attacked from behind on Saturday morning, the Fort Worth Police Department said.

She was in the area of 5200 Ten Mile Bridge near Marine Creek reservoir when a man knocked her to the ground. The woman screamed and fought with the man, but he hit her several times and threatened more violence if she didn’t stay quiet, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 817-469-8477.

Read more from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram…

Homes evacuated after several railroad cars derailed, caught fire in southeast Fort Worth

BY DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.

april 24, 2019 fw train (lback)

Fort Worth firefighters battled a large fire early Wednesday after several train cars caught fire and derailing. COURTESY: FORT WORTH FIRE DEPARTMENT

Homes were evacuated early Wednesday in several neighborhoods when train cars caught fire after derailing, fire officials said.

No injuries have been reported.

Fewer than 20 homes were evacuated after the derailment of the Union Pacific railroad cars. Residents were taken to Worth Heights Community Center where they were were relocated with friends and other family members.

Read more from the Star-Telegram…

Texas Man Charged by Criminal Complaint with Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization

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US DOJ – Fort Worth – A Texas man was charged today with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas, and Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson of the FBI’s Dallas Division made the announcement.

Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, of Arlington, Texas, was charged today by criminal complaint in Fort Worth, Texas, with conspiring to provide material support and resources to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist organization. Sewell has been detained pending further court proceedings.

“Sewell allegedly used social media to recruit and encourage an individual to travel overseas to join a foreign terrorist organization and conspired with that person to provide material support to that organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  “The National Security Division is committed to hold accountable those who engage in this behavior.”

“We stay on constant alert for radicals plotting attacks targeting citizens of the United States, here or abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Countering terrorist threats is our highest priority, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring justice to those who attempt to provide material support to foreign terror organizations. I would like to thank the FBI and our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners for all that they do to keep our communities safe.”

“The men and women of FBI Dallas along with our local, state, and federal partners will continue to work diligently against homegrown violent extremists who provide support to any foreign terrorist organization,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jackson. “As threats are uncovered to the community we serve, the FBI and its partners must continue to ensure we are vigilant and determined to prevent any harm to this great nation.”

As set forth in the complaint, Sewell recruited an individual, identified in the complaint as co-conspirator 1, to join LeT, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Sewell met the coconspirator online and encouraged him to join LeT. 

Sewell provided the coconspirator with contact information for an individual who he believed could facilitate the coconspirator’s travel to join the organization. Unbeknownst to Sewell and the coconspirator, the facilitator was an undercover FBI agent.

Sewell coached the coconspirator about what to say to convince the facilitator that he was sincere in his desire to fight for LeT. Sewell also contacted the facilitator to vouch for the coconspirator’s authenticity. Sewell told both the coconspirator and the facilitator that he would kill the coconspirator if he turned out to be a spy. 

The coconspirator made contact with the facilitator and made arrangements with the facilitator to travel to Pakistan to join LeT.           

The FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force members; including the Arlington Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the case.

In Custody Death Investigation – Ft. Worth

FWPD PRESS RELEASE

fwpd_patchFORT WORTH, Texas –  On January 15, 2019, the Fort Worth Police Department concluded its administrative investigation on the in-custody death that occurred on July 26, 2018. Anytime there is a loss of life during any police contact we ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted. The sanctity of life is the most important principle to the Fort Worth Police Department at all times. The results of the administrative investigation are as follows:

On Thursday July 26, 2018 at 9:33 p.m. Fort Worth Police responded to a call in regards to a prowler located in the 3300 block of Griggs Ave. The caller reported that an unknown male armed with a gun was attempting to break in to the residence. This male was taken in to custody without incident.

After the male was placed in handcuffs, he began to complain of medical issues. He was then placed in the back of a patrol vehicle by the officers but no medical aid was summoned.   

Upon completing their investigation, the officers found the male to be unresponsive in the back of the patrol vehicle and began to render medical aid. At this time an ambulance was called and the male was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The Fort Worth Police Department Major Case Unit and Internal Affairs Unit began investigations in to this incident. Our investigation found that there were multiple violations of departmental policy, including failure to protect the rights of persons in police custody. A preliminary update was given to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

The actions taken by the officers involved in this incident discovered during our investigation are not in accordance with the values of the Fort Worth Police Department or the standards that the citizens of Fort Worth have for their police department.  We hope that the administrative conclusion of this case is an assurance to the residents of Fort Worth that we are able to identify and properly address any issues that may arise during police incidents.

On a daily basis, Fort Worth Police Officers devote themselves to the safety of the citizens of Fort Worth and those that are in custody. Those efforts do not go unnoticed by the Fort Worth Police supervision. In this rare instance when this did not occur we moved to address it properly.

Throughout this process, Chief Fitzgerald and other command staff members have been in regular contact with the family of the deceased. The family has continually requested privacy and we will continue to respect their wishes. Additionally, the actions of the involved officers are still pending a Grand Jury review and that prevents us from providing additional information at this time.

The following discipline was applied as a result of our administrative investigation:

  • Officer T Stephens #4418 was indefinitely suspended (employment terminated).
  • Officer D Pritzker #4383 was indefinitely suspended (employment terminated).
  • Officer C Golden #4372 was indefinitely suspended (employment terminated).
  • Officer H Fellhauer #4270 was indefinitely suspended (employment terminated).
  • Officer M Miller #4520 was indefinitely suspended (employment terminated).
  • Officer S Smith #3758 was suspended without pay for 90 days, in lieu of termination.  He has forfeited his right to appeal.
  • Officer A Scharf # 4415 was suspended for 5 days without pay.