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University of Texas Stabbings

Police outside Gregory Gymnasium at University of Texas Austin on Monday afternoon. Photos Courtesy: Twitter, Associated Press, Social Media

Updated May 2, 2017 12:45 p.m. Central Time

A University of Texas Austin student went on a stabbing rampage Monday afternoon. Four UT students were attacked.  One student was killed and 3  students were injured during the attack outside Gregory Gymnasium. Police arrested the suspect, a UT student within minutes of the attack, according to UT President Gregory L. Fenves.

The suspect is identified as 21-year-old Kendrex  J. White, a UTA Biology Junior who had mental health issues. According to the Daily Texan, the suspect carried out the stabbings on 3 white male students and 1 Asian male student with a large bowie-style knife.  Authorities say White is in custody. UT student Harrison Brown was killed during the stabbing spree. He was identified by the Graham Texas School district, the Daily Texan reported.

Two stabbing victims have been released from the hospital. One victim remains hospitalized.

Following reports of the stabbings, all classes were suspended. Classes resumed Tuesday while Austin Police, UT Police and the Texas Department of Safety investigate.

UT President Gregory Fenves called the stabbings “a horrific act of violence.”

“There is a great deal of fear on campus and in our community. That fear is very understandable, especially in light of recent vandalism and threats against students. Like you, we are following the rumors and reports circulating on social media,” Fenves stated in an update on the campus tragedy Monday night.

University officials urged students to call their parents to let them know they are safe. UT and Austin police and DPS also increased patrols on campus and west of campus. Authorities also urged the UT community to call 911 if they see anything suspicious and pray for the victims and their families.

In an unrelated stabbing non-life threatening incident, Austin Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying and finding an aggravated assault suspect.  The stabbing happened Monday around 3 p.m. in the 2600 block of Nueces. The stabbing victim told police he got into a confrontation with an unknown male after he saw the suspect threaten an unknown female with a knife.  Police describe the suspect as a white male, in his 20’s, 5 feet 9 inches with sandy brown hair. The suspect was last seen wearing blue jeans and a hoodie.  Contact Austin PD at 512-974-5017, if you have any information about this case.

Posted in Asian Community, Crime News, National News | Tagged ,

United Airlines Changes and Dr. Dao Settlement

United Airlines hopes to fly more united with its paying customers and today announced 10 changes to improve customer service after Dr. David Dao was dragged out of his seat on an overbooked flight on April 9th so that another crewmember could get to work on another flight on April 9th. Passenger video of the incident that went viral sparked national and international public outrage. According to United Airlines press release on April 27th, the changes include “limiting the use of law enforcement to safety and security matters, not require seated customers on the plane to give up their seats involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk, increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000 and ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure.”

“Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect. Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologize. However, actions speak louder than words. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again,”

“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right. This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines in the press release.

Today attorneys for Dr. David Dao and United Airlines also reached an amicable settlement for the injuries Dao suffered aboard United Express Flight 3411 on April 9th.  The settlement includes a provision that the amount remain confidential.

“Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For his acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded,” said Thomas A. Demetrio, one of Dr. Dao’s lawyers.

“Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers….I sincerely hope that all other airlines make similar changes and follow United’s lead in helping to improve the passenger flying experience with an emphasis on empathy, patience, respect and dignity,” Demetrio stated.



Posted in Airline Travel, Asian Community, Asian Community News, National News, Travel | Tagged , , , ,

Evelyn’s Park Grand Opening

Video runs: 2:02

At 0:15 — Denton Ragland,  Evelyn’s Park Conservancy Executive Director

After years of planning and with a $313,500 grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, a large vacant lot at Newcastle and Bellaire Boulevard in the Houston area has come back to life as one of the country’s most sustainable parks.  On Earth Day, Evelyn’s Park made its grand debut to the public.  Evelyn’s Park Conservancy, a non-profit citizens’ group hosted the grand opening on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The site is the former location of Teas Nursery, which closed in December 2009. Jerry and Maury Rubenstein bought the 5 acre property and gave the land to the City of Bellaire, Texas on the condition that the land become a park and named in honor of their mother, Evelyn Rubenstein, a longtime Bellaire resident and philanthropist who loved the outdoors and making things beautiful.






Posted in Celebrations, Community Events, Environment, Houston News, Lifestyle, Neighborhood News, Recreation | Tagged , , , , , ,

Missing University of Houston Student

Photos Courtesy: Texas Equusearch. Nguyen’s Jeep was found April 17th, but police are not disclosing where it was found as their investigation continues. Nguyen has been missing since March 31, 2017.

University of Houston student An Vinh Nguyen is still missing. Texas Equusearch Search resumes their search for Nguyen again today from the Grace Family Baptist Church at 106 Bammel-Westfield Road near FM 1960 in Houston, Texas at 9 a.m. Volunteers and ATVs are still needed to look for Nguyen.

Texas EquuSearch coordinator Frank Black says the 27-year-old student was not found during a search on Wednesday.  Around 20 volunteer searchers gathered at the Grace Family Baptist Church on Wednesday to look for Nguyen in a bushy, muddy area on foot and with ATVs.

Nguyen was last seen in northwest Harris County in the late evening on March 31, 2017.  He was wearing a light-shaded, yellow-colored t-shirt and last known to be driving his 2016 orange 4-door Jeep Renegade. The jeep was found earlier this week. According to Equusearch, the passenger side rear back seat door was dented. The Texas license plates were HJB-5077.

If you have seen Nguyen, know where he is or have any information to help find him, please call the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-755-7427 or contact Texas EquuSearch at 281-309-9500.

Posted in Asian Community, Asian Community Alert, Asian Community News, Houston News, National News | Tagged , ,

Dao Daughter and Attorneys React to United Passenger Removal

Crystal Dao Pepper, Dr. David Dao’s daughter with attorney Steven Golan at news conference in Chicago on Thursday morning.

Photo courtesy: DolanChristieTaglia, Twitter


Dr. David Dao’s family and Dao’s attorneys spoke out this morning at a Chicago news conference about Dao’s removal from United Express Flight 3411 on Sunday night. The plane at Chicago O’Hare International Airport was bound for Louisville, Kentucky. A Chicago Aviation police officer dragged the Vietnamese doctor  from his seat and down the plane’s aisle after Dao refused to give up his plane seat to accommodate one of 4 United crew members flying on the overbooked plane to work the next day on various flights.  Video of the harsh passenger treatment went viral and sparked outrage nationwide and internationally and apologies from United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz.

“On behalf of my dad and entire family, we’d like to express out gratitude of the huge outpouring of prayer, love and concern from all over the world these past two days. We also want to thank the physicians, the nurses and all the hospital staff for taking care of my dad. It’s been a very difficult time for our entire family especially my dad. We are truly grateful for your support.” said Crystal Dao Pepper, Dr. Dao’s daughter.

“What happened to my dad should never have happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstances. We were horrified, shocked and sickened to see what had happened to him. We hope in the future nothing like this will happen again.  Thank you so much for your support,” said Pepper.  Pepper confirmed her father was Vietnamese and that he escaped Vietnam in 1975 when the Vietnam War ended.

Her father, who is 69 years old, suffered a significant concussion, a broken nose, two knocked out teeth and sinus injuries that require reconstructive surgery, according to Thomas Demetrio, Dr. Dao’s attorney. Demetrio also said Dr. Dao has been released from the hospital.  Chicago attorney Steven Golan also is part of Dao’s legal team.

“The fact of the matter is that for a long time airlines, United in particular, have bullied us,” said Demetrio after receiving hundreds of phone calls and emails from United employees, former employees and hearing tales of passenger mistreatment.

“Will there be a lawsuit? Yeah, probably,” said Demetrio.

“Dr. Dao has come to understand that he’s the guy. He’s the guy to stand up for passengers. He’s going forward,” Demetrio said of the planned lawsuit and described Dr. Dao as the “Asian Rosa Parks.”

Demetrio said Dao’s Asian heritage nor race were factors in this case.  Demetrio suggested airlines keep some seats open when they must fly employees to their jobs at the last moment.

“Maybe airlines need to expect the unexpected…..But not at the expense, certainly not at the physical expense of its paying passengers,” Demetrio said.




Posted in Airports, National News, Travel | Tagged ,

Passenger Dragged Off United Plane

On Sunday night,  a Chicago aviation police officer forcibly removed a passenger out of his seat on United Express Flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  The April 9th flight was headed to Louisville, Kentucky. The aviation police officer yanked the passenger out of his seat and dragged him down the aisle of the plane after he refused to give up his seat for a crew member flying to another airport to staff another flight. The bleeding and dazed passenger  was identified as Dr. David Dao, a Vietnamese physician in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Since passenger videos of the incident were posted on social media and gone viral, it’s been a public relations mess for United Airlines and a lesson on what airlines can do when customers buy an airline ticket and board their flight.

“The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses for all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way. I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.  It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again.” wrote Oscar Munoz, United Airlines CEO in a statement on April 11th.

Munoz also stated the airline will thoroughly review how it moves crews to their flights, incentive policies for passengers who volunteer to give up their seats and how the airline handles overbooked flights. It also will examine United Airlines partnership with airport authorities and local law enforcement.

Munoz promised to do better and will release the results of the review by April 30th.

Munoz also said all passengers on flight 3411 will get a full ticket refund and compensated in an interview on “Good Morning America” this week.

The Chicago Tribune reports 3 employees of the Chicago Aviation Authority are on administrative leave.

Dao is being treated for injuries and has hired 2 attorneys, including attorney Thomas Demetrio. USA Today reports Dao’s daughter and Dr. Dao’s attorney will speak out at a news conference this morning.

According to a former and retired United Airlines Pilot and a United pilot’s wife, airport police is normally notified when passengers don’t obey the crew’s instructions and requests. They also pointed out that airports and airplanes are federal restricted areas subject to federal Department of Transportation and Homeland Security regulations.  A purchased airline ticket also is a contract between the customer and the airline.





Posted in Airline Travel, Asian Community, National News | Tagged ,