Suspects sought in baseball bat attacks

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Two suspects in two baseball bat beating attacks are being sought by the Austin Police Department.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Two suspects in two baseball bat beating attacks are being sought by the Austin Police Department.

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The attacks took place at 1:54 a.m. Saturday. The first occurred when a man walking along the Mill Pond Pathway in Horace Austin Park was assaulted by aluminum baseball-bat wielding assailants.

The second assault took place outside an apartment building at 605 Main St. North.

Sergio Fugan Flores, 24, and Eric Hernandez, 30, who live in the apartment building were the victims. Each suffered wounds to the head and body and were taken to Austin Medical Center’s emergency room for treatment.

The victims and other eyewitnesses to the attacks identified the assailants to police.

The pair were among a group of men in two vehicles, a green-gray Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle and a red Toyota Corolla.

The attacks were not believed to be gang-related. However, Flores told investigators he has a "violent history" with one of the alleged assailants dating back over a year.

Quick work by APD

It took Austin police officers only 11 minutes to solve a burglary at Lerum’s Star Liquor early Saturday morning.

A silent alarm was activated at 4:33 a.m. Saturday at the business located in the former Lakeside Shopping Center along 11th Street NE.

When police arrived, they discovered the front door broken and entrance gained to the business.

Also at the scene, officers found three bicycles lying behind the building in bushes.

The owner provided police with a surveillance tape and it showed two subjects stepping into the store through the broken door and then exiting with bottles of liquor.

A police officer recalled seeing an individual riding one of the stolen bicycles recovered at the scene Friday night before the early Saturday burglary. The security cameras examined as well as a croquet mallet recovered at the scene that was apparently used to break the front door glass.

Officers went to a southeast Austin residence, where the bicycle thief suspect lived with his father.

Because of Friday night-early Saturday rain showers, the suspects were visibly wet, giving police officers more cause to be suspicious.

Three boys and an adult were arrested at the residence and liquor recovered after one of the boy’s parents found the liquor in a dresser.

Three boys, ages 15, 17 and 18, will be charged by juvenile court petition with burglary.

Also arrested was Jonell Dowdell, 28, who also faces felony burglary charges.

The officers went to the southeast Austin home looking for the suspects and made the arrests only 11 minutes (4:44 a.m.) after the burglar alarm was activated (4:33 a.m.) Saturday, according to police reports.

Pager system fails

Lightning is believed to have rendered an antenna useless early Saturday, when a house fire was reported at the Mike and Vicky Hemery residence, 2100 10th St. SW.

However, an alert part-time firefighter, who heard the Austin-Mower County Law Enforcement Center dispatcher page firefighters to the alarm is credited with alerting the department’s firefighters to the emergency.

Fire Chief Dan Wilson reports no more damage occurred to the house because of the delay in summoning firefighters.

Also, the couple were not at home at the time of the fire, but their son, Brandon, 18, was asleep in a first-floor living room. He was awakened when a smoke alarm activated.

The alarm was received at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, according to Fire Chief Dan Wilson.

The radio communications antenna was located on the Belair Addition water tower along 14th Street SW in Austin and is being repaired today.

In addition, the fire chief said he will ask the Law Enforcement Center’s dispatchers to conduct tests of the department’s pagers on a daily basis instead of the previous once-a-week tests that were done.

The fire originated in a basement bedroom at the Hemery home and was confined to the room. However, smoke poured upstairs through an open stairway and engulfed the house.

A damage estimate was not available.