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Debris from Austin homeless encampment falling into creek: ‘Insanity’

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An Austin, Texas resident who has been documenting the city’s homeless crisis shared a video Wednesday showing a greenbelt destroyed by a homeless encampment.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt in South Austin, lies along Barton Creek and connects to Barton Springs Pool – a popular area frequented by city residents. 

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The Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin.  (DASH)

Jamie Hammond, who uploads videos under the “Documenting Austin’s Streets and Homeless” account, said the greenbelt has gotten “so bad.” He said trash and debris from the encampment – including waste and needles – were falling into Barton Creek, which flows toward Barton Springs. 

“If this doesn’t upset people, nothing will,” Hammond said in the video, while touring the wreckage. “Insanity.” 

Last month, Hammond partnered with the group Nomadik to develop an AI interactive map, documenting the city’s homeless crisis. The map vividly depicts where homeless encampments are concentrated throughout the city. 

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On Thursday, a brush fire broke out at the same encampment.

The Austin Fire Department said it was responding to a brush alarm in the greenbelt near the 4000 block of S Capital “near the old Toys R US.” 

Later, AFD said the fire was “knocked down” in the greenbelt. Crews continued to work to extinguish and overhaul the fire. 

 

City officials told Fox News Digital that outreach efforts at the encampment are underway and a cleanup is scheduled in the coming weeks. 

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Southwest

Texas man charged with murder after woman's body found in closet

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A Texas man was charged with murder after a woman he was in a relationship was found dead, wrapped in bedding and stuffed in his closet, according to court documents.

FOX 4 in Dallas reported that 34-year-old Omar Lucio was arrested on April 15 and charged in the murder of 27-year-old Corinna Johnson.

Leading up to the arrest, the Garland Police Department advised the Dallas Police Department that it received a 911 call from a woman who said another woman had been beaten to death and was inside an apartment on W. Wheatland Road.

When officers arrived at the apartment, Lucio was inside and refused to exit, though after about an hour, he complied and was placed under arrest.

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Omar Lucio was charged with murder after Corinna Johnson’s body was found in his closet. The body was wrapped in bedding. (Dallas County Jail)

The responding officers then entered the apartment and followed a trail of blood that reportedly went from the front door to the bathroom, then into a bedroom closet, according to court documents obtained by the station.

Inside the closet, police found Johnson’s body wrapped in Lucio’s bedding.

A further investigation led police to Lucio’s vehicle in the parking lot, where bloody clothes were located inside.

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Corinna Johnson smiling in a selfie

Corrina Johnson’s body was found wrapped in bedding and inside a closet at Omar Lucio’s apartment, according to Dallas Police. (Corinna Johnson’s Family via FOX 4 Dallas)

The woman who reported the body told investigators she went to Lucio’s apartment after he called her asking for her help.

Lucio reportedly told the woman he and Johnson were drinking when they got kicked out of a bar because of Johnson, the court affidavit notes. Lucio then allegedly said he “knocked some sense” into Johnson, making her unresponsive.

The caller told investigators she witnessed Johnson’s body on the floor of the bathroom with a bruised and bloody face. She also told police the woman appeared to be dead. It was not until the next day that the woman called and reported the body to the police.

Investigators spoke with Lucio, and he allegedly admitted that he “snapped” and beat Johnson with his bare hands while they were inside the car.

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Detectives noted in the affidavit that Lucio’s hands appeared injured, and he had blood under his fingernails and on his left shoe.

Police also noted that Lucio did not tell investigators how Johnson ended up in the closet, wrapped in his bedding.

FOX 4 said Johnson’s family had been urging the mother of a 7-year-old to leave Lucio.

Erica Hernandez, Johnson’s sister, told the station her sister was the “most bubbly person ever,” while the victim’s aunt, Kathy Gareau, said Johnson “always had a smile on her face.”

“She didn’t deserve what she got,” Gareau said. “Not at all.”

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Johnson and Lucio were together for six years, according to Johnson’s family, and they said they would grow concerned whenever she came home with black eyes or bruises.

Lucio remains in custody at the Dallas County Jail on charges of murder as well as street racing and being involved in a collision causing bodily injury.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Pro-Palestinian protesters, police scuffle on USC campus

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Pro-Palestinian protesters, police scuffle on USC campus

Scuffling broke out between police and protesters at USC Wednesday morning.

The protesters, who are objecting to the ongoing war in Gaza and Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, were targeted by police who were “RAIDING ENCAMPMENTS” and “VIOLENTLY ARRESTING” them, according to activist account People City’s Council – Los Angeles.

Video shared to social media by Angie Orellana Hernandez showed at least one officer whipping out a baton after “officers put their hands on a @USC student.”

She later shared another video showing students surrounding a police vehicle so it could not leave the area with a student that the protesters believed was wrongly detained.

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The escalation comes after a slow start to the protest.

While Sky5 showed only 15-20 protesters early Wednesday morning, by midday, dozens if not hundreds of people could be spotted in the area of Alumni Park. Large amounts of shoving and pushing could be spotted.

USC Public Safety Assistant Chief David Carlisle told KTLA earlier on Wednesday that students were free to protest, but they were not allowed to camp on campus property, so officers took down tents.

Footage from just before noon showed numerous tents still erected at the site, though protesters appeared to be carrying their tents and walking in a circle in an attempt to evade the officers’ attempts.

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Southwest

Video shows Arizona mother violently assault bus driver in front of 11 children: police

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A Mesa, Arizona mother was charged with aggravated assault after video showed her hit a school bus driver multiple times while accusing her of speaking badly about her daughter.

The Mesa Police Department said 27-year-old Hermenegilda Marquez was arrested on April 17 and faces a single count of felony aggravated assault on a school employee. 

According to police, officers responded to W. McKellips Road at about 2 p.m. on April 11 after receiving reports that a Mesa Public Schools bus driver had been assaulted.

When officers arrived, they spoke with the victim, who appeared to be suffering from minor injuries.

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Hermenegilda Marquez was charged with aggravated assault after video showed her allegedly hitting a bus driver on April 11, 2024. (Mesa Police Department)

In a video released by police, Marquez is allegedly seen entering the bus and yelling at the driver before turning her head toward the back of the bus and calling for her child by name.

Marquez then turns her attention back toward the driver and continues cursing and yelling at the bus driver, according to police.

The bus driver told Marquez, who she claimed to have never spoken to before, to get off the bus before picking up the handset on the bus radio.

Marquez then allegedly appears to swing at the victim, then grabs the radio cord and yanks it while telling the bus driver to “do something now” and get off the bus.

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Mesa Bus Driver Assault Video

The Mesa Police Department in Arizona released a video of a school bus driver getting assaulted by a woman, later identified by police as Hermenegilda Marquez (Mesa Police Department)

Multiple parents were at the bus stop when Marquez boarded the bus. Some of the parents complained to the bus driver about not stopping at the right location, while Marquez had another complaint.

“Were you talking s- – t about my daughter?,” Marquez is allegedly heard asking the bus driver before violently smacking her multiple times.

A man police identified as Marquez’s boyfriend, intervened and pulled Marquez off the bus.

But as she was being removed from the vehicle, she grabbed the bus driver’s hair with both hands and almost pulled the driver out of her seat, police said.

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At the time of the assault, police said, there were 11 children still onboard the bus.

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Marquez left the scene and after further investigation, police identified her as the suspect and interviewed her.

During questioning, police allegedly read Marquez her Miranda Rights, and she immediately invoked her right to an attorney.

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Police said they showed Marquez the video and afterward told her she would be charged with a felony because she was seen on the recording committing an assault. She allegedly showed no emotion when she was told she was being charged, according to police.

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