Police Notification Of Alleged Assault Sent By Resident; Warned ‘Perpetrator Still At Large’

March 20, 2009

Houston police are still not releasing information regarding the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl at Drake and Auden on Feb. 8. Southside Place residents were notified of the reported attack via an e-mail sent by a resident at the request of Southside Place Police Chief Lonnie Bernhardt.

 

The e-mail was sent by Kris Holt, a Southside Place resident. The original e-mail  erroneously identified the alleged victim as a West U. resident, was worded as though the assault was a known fact, and told residents that the “perpetrator is still at large.”

 

The e-mail was not sent to those who subscribe to the police department’s notification e-mail list. City Manager David Moss says the e-mail was sent by Holt because she has been “active in community events, including the parks association, for numerous years.” According to Moss, her e-mail list was gathered from the Southside Place directory.

 

Bernhardt says he does not know how the alleged victim was falsely indentified as a West U. resident, and says the information must have been added after the original notice he wrote.

 

The e-mail quickly circulated throughout West U., causing many parents concern for the safety of their children. Some residents remain convinced that the assault never happened. By the time many residents heard about the incident, it has transformed into an alleged sexual assault in Houston to a rape and abduction of a West U. resident inside city limits.

 

“There continues to be a distressing absence of facts, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is more to this story,” said a West U. resident who asked not to be identified. “The sooner the air is cleared, families and the community can move on.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Holt is a resident of Southside Place and has been active in community events including the park association for numerous years.  She has an e-mail list of residents from the Southside Place telephone directory.  I am more than happen to ask her to add you to the community e-mail list.

 

 

 

 

To:  Southside Residents

Sent on request of Chief Lonnie Bernhardt  – Southside Police Department

From: Kris Holt/Greenwood King Properties  – krish@greenwoodking.com

Clarification/Correction: This is a City of Houston case.  The incident occurred in Houston and the victim resided in Houston.

 

Correction: A 7th grade 13 yr. old West U. HOUSTON  resident was sexually assaulted on Sunday, 2/8/09 between 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the corner of Drake  and Auden  – just north of Bissonnet.  She was walking to a friend’s house and was pulled into a vacant house under construction. He is reported as a white male, 28-30 yrs old, 6’2″ tall, short brown hair, crew cut style. He was wearing blue jeans, a Houston Astros baseball cap with a star on it, and a black hooded sweatshirt with no writing. He was clean shaven, and was walking. HPD is working on the case. The perpetrator is still at large.              

 

Please  be mindful of your own children’s safety day or night and report anything suspicious to the  Southside Police Department. 713-668-2341.

The Police Department has tightened up patrols to our area. – Chief Bernhardt

 

 

 

 

Was a 13-year-old girl sexually assaulted right outside West U. city limits in early February? That question is heavy on the minds of many West U. residents, some who are panicking and concerned for the safety of their own children and some who are convinced that nothing happened.

 

The alleged sexual assault was reported to have occurred in the 3000 block of Drake near Auden between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 8. The Houston Police Department is investigating the allegations, and neither the West U. Police Department nor the Southside Place Police Department is involved.

 

At this point, HPD representatives say the investigation is ongoing, although more information could be available by tomorrow. There are apparently several different versions of what happened that night, and several different descriptions of the alleged suspect.

 

“We are still investigating various accounts of how the incident transpired,” said an HPD spokesman. “But as of right now, we are taking the allegations very seriously, like we would any victim that came forward. But there are varying accounts of the specifics. Investigators are trying to figure how it went down before they try to proceed with investigating a suspect. Once you are on this side (police department), you have to take every allegation that is made seriously.”

 

Many West U. and Southside Place residents were made aware of the allegations via an e-mail from Southside Police Chief Lonnie Bernhardt. The e-mail identified the victim as a West U. resident, which was false information that Bernhardt says he did not realize was put in the e-mail.

 

“I never said it was a West U. resident – I merely put out an informational e-mail for our residents to kind of let them know, kind of a heads-up,” said Bernhardt, who added that he intended for the e-mail to only be sent to Southside Place residents. The e-mail circulated throughout Southside Place and West U. and various rumors had some believing a rape and abduction of a 13-year-old West U. resident occurred inside the city.

 

Enough information was made available to West U. residents that some were able to identify the victim and at least one person made contact with the 13-year-old’s parents, according to several West U. residents. 

 

Bernhardt says the information in his e-mail was gathered from a report from HPD as well as from other sources.

 

“It’s a Houston case,” said Bernhardt. “I would not want to think I jeopardized a Houston case by something that was said or done by us over here.” He added that he does not regret sending the e-mail.

 

Some residents are convinced that the allegations are false.

 

“There continues to be a distressing absence of facts, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is more to this story,” said a West U. resident who asked not to be identified. “The sooner the air is cleared, families and the community can move on.”

 

 

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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