On January 19 at approximately 3 p.m, a Tyler County Sheriff's deputy was on patrol in the Warren area when he noticed a vehicle that did not have a front license plate. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Timothy King, age 37, of Warren.
According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, it was determined that King had an expired driver's license and was operating an unregistered motor vehicle that had been out since March of 2007. The deputy obtained consent to search the vehicle and checked the trunk area, where he observed a clear plastic bag on the floor that contained a off white crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamines, Weatherford said.
King was arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, third degree felony. The amount of the substance was 4.7 grams.
Evidence is being forward to the DPS crime lab in Houston for verification and final weight analysis.
The Woodville Police Department received a call around lunch time on January 16 regarding a possibly intoxicated person at McDonalds. According to Chief Mike McCulley, Police Officers arrived at the scene and made contact with a male subject there and identified him as Rodric Deon Douglas, age 33 of Woodville. Officers immediately noticed signs of intoxication, and went to make an arrest on Douglas but he began to resist and aggressively try to get away from the officers.
"He refused to give the officers his hands and did not comply with the officers at all," McCulley said. "After several attempts in trying to secure his hands, officers deployed the Taser to help gain control of Douglas, but the Taser was not effective, which happens sometimes with someone heavily under the influence of drugs."
The officers continued to struggle with Douglas and there were several bystanders who came to the officer's aide and assisted officers by holding onto the suspect so he could be secured. After he was secured and transported to the jail, a complete search was done and a gram baggie of white powder was found on Douglas. The substance appeared and tested positive for Cocaine. Douglas was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, Public Intoxication and Resisting Arrest, Search or Transport. The police department wants to extend a thank you to those who stepped in to help the officers, although the department does not encourage citizens to put themselves in a situation that they could be hurt as well.
"In that particular situation it did help the police officers tremendously with getting the suspect under control without hurting anyone," McCulley said. "If the public sees a police officer that is struggling with a suspect in the public, generally we ask the person not approach the officer unless he request assistance, because we don't want people putting themselves in harms way. In this particular situation, the officers did need assistance and it was certainly OK for the citizens to help."
A five hour manhunt for a wanted felon in Woodville began after he was pulled over by a State Trooper in Woodville and fled the scene on foot on Tuesday, January 13.
According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, at approximately 9:53, a Trooper with Texas DPS made a traffic stop due to a simple registration violation on Highway 190 in front of Dogwood Trails Manor. As soon as the vehicle pulled in and stopped, the driver began running on foot back toward the city.
According to Woodville Police Chief Mike McCulley, the Woodville Police Department was called to assist the Tyler County Sheriff's Department to secure a perimeter and search area.
"We were able to finally get a 99 percent sure confirmation on who the driver of the vehicle was, and we identified him as Kirby Bookman, age 24, of Livingston," Weatherford said. "Bookman had a parole violation for aggravated sexual assault of a child." Many local organizations came together to assist in the search, including the Tyler County Sheriff's Department, Woodville Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Tyler County Constables, federal agents, agents from the Marshall service, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Corrections K-9 tracking unit, as well as community organizations such as Heritage Village and Pickett House, who provided food and drinks for those assisting in the search.
According to Weatherford, a perimeter was set up within a half hour and local schools and nursing homes were put on lock-down and local residents were notified to keep their doors shut and locked.
After approximately 5 hours, Bookman arrived at the Woodville Wal-mart and wanted to turn himself in. "Due to the cold elements and the fact that he had run out of his shoes, we expect that he was tired of running since it was cold and wet that day," McCulley said.
According to Sheriff Weatherford, the violation began as a simple traffic violation and turned into evading arrest and detention, but once law enforcement discovered the charge that Bookman had outstanding, it was imperative to search for him as long as possible to keep the public out of danger.
"Due to his prior history and what he was wanted for, we took this very seriously," Weatherford said. "We were concerned about our public."
Bookman had been wanted for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child since November and he is currently being housed in the Tyler County Jail with additional evading arrest and detention charges from Tyler County.
Sheriff Weatherford and Chief McCulley want to emphasize that Bookman was found due to a large group effort from several different agencies, and want to thank them as well as the community for the patience and trust shown during the search. "We were helped out a lot here," McCulley said. "The public was very helpful. It took a lot of resources to make this search happen."
On Wednesday, January 14, several Tyler County Sheriff's Deputies were given information about a stolen 1974 Honda motorcycle in the county near County Road 2550. According to Phil Ryan with the Tyler County Sheriff's Department, when the deputies arrived at the county road, they noticed a motorcycle matching the description on the stolen one sitting in a yard in plain site.
Deputies questioned the people at that residence and began asking questions about the motorcycle. According to Ryan, deputies were able to locate a VIN number on the motorcycle and it came back as reported stolen.
Law enforcement took the motorcycle into their possession to return it to its rightful owner, and charges are pending on James Mahaffy, who was in possession of the motorcycle, Ryan said.
Annually, each jail facility in Texas is inspected by Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Tyler County Jail was inspected earlier in January. According to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the jail passed with flying colors.
"The inspector was very pleased with the operations and the way the facility is ran," Weatherford said.
The Tyler County Jail houses 43 inmates and contracts out with Jasper and San Jacinto County to hold additional inmates. The jail also holds inmates from the city of Woodville.
"The amount of inmates that we are holding and the fact that we do hold inmates in other counties is a definitely attributed to not only the deputies and law enforcement out working to get these people off the streets, but also the jailers and administration in the jail itself that are making this happen each and every day," Weatherford said.
The annual inspection covers everything from making sure the facility is secure to making sure the inmates are treated fairly and made available all the things they need to have such as meals, medications and daily needs. The files, fire evacuation, jailer certification and training, and other aspects of the jail are also combed over.
The letter from the jail commission to Tyler County Jail reads,
Dear Sheriff Weatherford,
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards wishes to acknowledge the excellent work of the Tyler County Sheriff's Office with a Certificate of Compliance for the Tyler County Jail. The most recent inspection of your facility on January 7, 2015 by Texas Commission on Jail Standards Inspector Phillip Bosquez has demonstrated that your facility is in compliance with Texas Minimum Jail Standards. The Certificate of Compliance demonstrates your outstanding leadership and the diligent work of your staff in complying with minimum jail standards. In addition, this achievement is a direct result of your office's commitment to excellence and is an example of dedication and professionalism in maintaining a safe, secure and sanitary facility. Providing the essential budgetary support for jail operations is also imperative to achieving compliance, so let me also congratulate the Tyler County Commissioners Court for their vital support of jail operations. The citizens of Tyler County should be proud of your combined efforts, as is the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Best Regards, Brandon S. Wood Executive Director
"I'm proud of the administration from top to bottom in the facility because this is not an easy job," Weatherford said. "The easy part is getting the handcuffs on them and bringing them in and dropping them off. But these jailers are here with these inmates 24/7." Weatherford wants the public to be able to read the letter from the inspector because he was very impressed with the facility and what the county has done with it throughout the years.