State News Briefs

Man pleads guilty to stealing occupied car

WICHITA FALLS (AP) – A man accused of stealing a car with a 4-year-old inside had recently pleaded guilty to theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle, police said. John Wade McCloud, 30, was taken into custody in Walters, Okla., on warrants issued in Wichita Falls in connection with the incident. He faces charges of felony theft and child endangerment, police Sgt. Cindy Walker said. A woman’s car, with her son in the back seat, was stolen moments after she stopped at a gas station Thursday. Police called her cellular phone, still in the car, and the child answered, describing his surroundings until police found the car in a parking lot about 30 minutes later. The boy had not been harmed.

Inmate makes unsuccessful escape attempt

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – A Central Texas jail inmate who made an unsuccessful escape attempt now faces the possibility of additional time behind bars. Benjamin Martinez of San Antonio was placed in a holding cell adjacent to State District Judge Juanita Vasquez-Gardner’s first-floor courtroom shortly after the judge sentenced him to five years in prison for a sexual offense. Martinez, 23, pushed aside a ceiling tile and hoisted himself halfway through the hole as Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Trevio was about to place a second inmate in the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center cell. “The problem with that is that there’s nowhere to go from there,” Trevio said. A bailiff said he jumped up and grabbed Martinez’s leg and a brief struggled ensued. Trevio then climbed up and brought Martinez down from the ceiling. Martinez was then formally charged with escape, a third-degree felony punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison.

State troopers to patrolfrom school buses

AUSTIN (AP) – Some school buses are carrying older-than-usual riders this week. The Texas Department of Public Safety is putting troopers on some buses and the officers will be watching for traffic violations. The move is part of School Bus Safety Week, which runs through Saturday. Drivers cited for going past a stopped school bus when its red flashing lights are activated can expect to pay a fine of up to $1,000, according to DPS.

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