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Texas Briefly

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Man accused in deadly Texas standoff faces federal charge

LEVELLAND (AP) — A man charged in the fatal shooting of a SWAT officer in a small West Texas city during a standoff last week was charged Friday with assaulting a federal officer who responded to the scene, prosecutors said.

Omar Soto-Chavira, 22, was charged with one count of forcibly assaulting a federal officer engaged in the performance of official duties.

Soto-Chavira repeatedly opened fire on law enforcement during the almost 11- hour standoff on July 15 at a house in Levelland, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Lubbock, authorities said.

Soto-Chavira was charged this week with a state count of capital murder in the death of Lubbock County sheriff's Sgt. Josh Bartlett, who was shot in the neck.

Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a news release that if Soto-Chavira were to post the $500,000 bond set in the state case, he would be transferred to federal custody, where criminal defendants can be detained without bond.

The standoff between the defendant and law enforcement started after someone reported a man as possibly armed along a street, authorities have said.

Levelland police Sgt. Shawn Wilson remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the head during the standoff, federal prosecutors said. Three other officers also were shot and wounded.

Houston man charged with pepper-spraying US Capitol police

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston man was arrested Friday and charged with multiple counts from the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, including pepper-spraying police.

Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., say Andrew Quentin Taake, 32, was arrested Friday after police body-camera video showed him pepper-spraying a line of officers who were trying to keep a mob from entering the Capitol.

A criminal complaint says video also showed Taake making a second assault on officers later and striking officers with a whip-like weapon.

Federal records did not indicate if Taake was granted bond or held in custody, nor did they list an attorney who could speak for him. Inquiries were directed to the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington, which did not immediately respond to a message. No telephone number for Taake was listed.

More than 535 suspects in the assault have been arrested so far in almost all of the 50 states, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's office.

Police: Armed person stole ambulance with patient inside

HOUSTON (AP) — An armed suspect stole an ambulance early Friday while a patient and a firefighter were inside, Houston police said.

The suspect is accused of running the ambulance off the road, the department said in a series of tweets. Then, a firefighter behind the wheel was forced out of the ambulance at gunpoint and left on the side of the road.

A patient and another firefighter were in the back of the vehicle.

Authorities said they used a GPS to track down the ambulance. The armed suspect was taken into custody without incident, police said.

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