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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Arrest warrants were issued for three people police believe were involved in street takeovers across Austin on Feb. 18.
At least seven people had been arrested in connection with the takeover events. KXAN has obtained affidavits for arrest warrants of three more people.
Each affidavit defines a street takeover as a “coordinated organized criminal endeavor designed to obstruct roadways for the purpose of conducting dangerous driving exhibitions in violation of state law,” then summarizes the events of Feb. 18, when several street takeovers occurred across Austin over several hours.
According to the affidavits, the takeovers happened at prominent intersections across the city beginning around 6 p.m. Feb. 18 and ending around 1 a.m. Feb. 19. During each takeover event, multiple crashes occurred, pedestrians were hit by vehicles, property – including police vehicles – was damaged, people were injured, and several vehicles tried to get away from law enforcement, the affidavits said.
The street takeovers on Feb. 18 resulted in more than 400 emergency 911 phone calls for the night, according to the affidavits.
According to the affidavits, two of the people were involved in a takeover at the intersection of Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard, and the other was involved in a takeover at North Interstate 35 and East Anderson Lane.
As of Monday afternoon, KXAN was unable to confirm the three people had been arrested.
Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard
A warrant was issued for the arrest of Julien Putmon, 21. Patmon is accused of engaging in organized criminal activity for his alleged involvement in the takeover that took place at Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard around 9 p.m. Feb. 18.
Officers were able to identify Putmon through videos and photos posted on social media compared with his driver’s license. According to the affidavit, the videos showed a white Chevrolet SS doing donuts in the intersection while more than 50 people stand in the center of the intersection and surround the area.
A detective noticed several unique stickers on the car, plus an Instagram handle that wasn’t decipherable because of the angle and speeds of the videos.
The detective also noted the appearance of the driver and what he was wearing. Later, the detective was given information from the Texas Department of Public Safety on the possible identity of the driver and his Instagram account.
The detective recognized the man in posts on the Instagram account as the driver of the Chevrolet and was able to identify him as Putmon. The affidavit also said there were photos on the account of Putmon posing with the same Chevrolet that was involved in the takeover and the unique stickers could be seen in the photos.
During a criminal history check, the detective found that Putmon has a criminal history in the state of New York and a driver’s license out of New York, according to the affidavit. The detective compared the driver’s license photo with the Instagram photos and confirmed that they were the same person.
An arrest warrant was also issued for Corry Murray, 19, for his alleged involvement in the takeover located at Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard. This portion of the incident happened around 9:26 p.m. in the 1200 block of Barton Springs.
An APD detective reviewed video from several different sources that showed a person, later identified as Murray, standing directly in front of a police vehicle, blocking its path and also striking the hood of it with his hands.
The unmarked vehicle had its emergency lights and sirens activated while this was happening, according to the affidavit. At the same time, there were at least 10 people standing together in front of the vehicle. At least three of them were wearing similar clothing, which indicates they are part of the same street takeover group, according to the affidavit.
The detective found an Instagram account associated with the group and compared photos from the takeover to Murray’s face and believed they were the same person.
According to the affidavit, members of the vehicular crimes task force of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, or HCSO, have been investigating similar events and people involved in them. Members of the task force spoke with the detective, who was able to identify several individuals involved in the Austin takeovers after comparing the information with HCSO.
According to the affidavit, the detective researched the criminal history of Murray and found his driver’s license, and was able to positively identify him in the videos based on the license.
Murray is accused of obstructing a highway or other passageway.
According to the affidavit, Murray’s criminal history showed previous arrests for similar offenses.
North I-35 and East Anderson Lane
An arrest warrant was issued for Keegan Lopez-Stiba, 31, for his alleged involvement in the street takeover that occurred at the intersection of North I-35 and East Anderson Lane around 11 p.m. Feb. 18.
Officers responded to the area, where a large crowd of participants were blocking the intersection while multiple vehicles were doing donuts in the intersection.
According to the affidavit, there was a blue Dodge Ram stopped in the intersection. The officers turned on their overhead emergency lights and issued multiple commands via their patrol vehicle PA system for the crowd to disperse.
As officers moved toward the truck, the crowd moved directly in front of the patrol car and blocked their passage of the roadway, according to the affidavit.
The patrol vehicle recorded video during the incident, which showed one of the people approaching the vehicle and waving for it to back away, then he sat on the front bumper, the affidavit said.
As the crowd dispersed, the Dodge started leaving the area and driving recklessly through the crowd and struck a concrete pillar, according to the affidavit. The officers pursued the truck for reckless driving and deadly conduct, and when the truck passed through the intersection, a crowd moved in front of the patrol vehicle, blocking the roadway while a man stood directly in front of the patrol car for approximately 10 seconds.
The officers conducted a registration check on the Dodge and then conducted research at the residence registered to it. They found Lopez-Stiba’s driver’s license and identified him in the video from the patrol vehicle.
Lopez-Striba is accused of obstructing a highway or other passageway. According to the affidavit, police believe he prevented the passage of an authorized emergency vehicle operating with its emergency signals.