Kindred News 3/10/99

City News:

Headline: A string of hate crimes flared along Austin’s East Side Saturday, February 28, and several Austin police officers are being investigated for involvement. Witnesses describe at least six assailants. The first is described as a muscular man with shaved head and clothes marking him as a neo-nazi. The second is a 5’6 white female with blond hair, dressed in jeans and T-shirt. Three of the group were dressed as police officers, the first a 6’3” muscular blond male, the second a blond female in an unseasonably short skirt, and the third officer has been tentatively identified as Angie Dickenson.

These individuals went on a rampage on the east side of Austin, attacking blacks and Hispanics, threatening and insulting them and physically assaulting approximately 20 people. The attackers cut the symbol of the Swastika into several of their victims. Witnesses report the group shouting that the cops were “taking back the streets from their kind.”

K-Eye news received a videotape later showing two of the police officers beating the driver of an overturned car. This was aired once and showed Angie Dickenson beating a large black man into submission, with a male voice threatening the victim heard in background. The tape was seized by the Austin police department. No police officer has been implicated in the assaults,  but groups have been protesting the police department since the videotape aired, and several individuals have been arrested for attacking police officers.

Angie Dickenson was not available for comment.

Vigilantism on the Rise
Some commentators claim it’s the built-up from the interminable, icy winter. Others say it’s a precursor of “Millenium Fever,” a few months ahead of schedule—but vigilante assaults have been making the news on an increasingly common basis. Saturday, February 28: Local transient and Sixth Street mascot James “Bongoman” Hayes was assaulted and left for dead by unknown assailants. The attack occurred on Sixth Street between Brazos and San JacintoHe suffered trauma to the head and chest regions, and has not recovered sufficiently to identify his attackers. The street performer told reporters the four assailants interrogated him,  beat him unconscious and stole his new suit. A bouncer at a nearby club called an ambulance and the police. Witnesses describe the assailant as 6’5”, wearing boots, a trenchcoat and a white cowboy hat. Police are offering a reward for any information leading to the arrest of this criminal.

Entertainment news: this week our reviewer visited Austin’s newest full-service Japanese tea room and sushi house, “Momoko’s.” Originally a small tea shop near the University of Texas campus, the business has been expanded to a three-story traditional Japanese pagoda, and is therefore the only three-story traditional Japanese pagoda that sells sushi and rose tea. The sushi, reviewer Reni Simmons says, is adequate, but the collection of obscure teas and the very traditional architecture make the place worth the trip to the University.

Local government: HR 2785 passed recently. The new law authorizes private institutions to serve as holding tanks for criminals. Further, Austin has begun an ambitious program to replace all of its sewage treatment plants by the year 2000.