APD releases timeline responding to South Congress stabbing attack

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, Austin police announced that Dylan Woodburn, 27, the suspect in last week’s stabbing at a Congress Avenue coffee shop, died Jan 3.

Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley also said APD has opened an internal investigation into the department’s response to the assault and stabbing, as well as what led to an officer’s duty belt nearly coming off as he was trying to handcuff the suspect.

Friday, APD released a timeline of events during the response to the call.

  • 7:49:41 a.m. — 9-1-1 received the initial call and classified it as a Priority 2 call
  • 7:51:06 a.m. — Call in dispatch queue to send officers
  • 7:52:08 a.m. — Call taking completed
  • 8:02:15 a.m. — 1st Unit self-assigned
  • 8:09:51 a.m. — 1st Unit arrived on scene 

Police said the stabbing suspect hit a customer at Bennu Coffee on South Congress Avenue near West Riverside Drive “for no apparent reason,” then ran to Freebirds World Burrito and stabbed two people inside.

“We believe that the attack that occurred at the Freebirds was just as random as what happened at Bennu,” Lt. Jeff Greenwalt said Monday.

Austin Police Department also confirmed Johnathan Aguilar, a 34-year-old kitchen manager at Freebirds World Burrito, as the victim who died.

Police say they are pulling together information from witnesses as well as car video, body camera video, surveillance footage and dispatch tapes.

Assault and stabbing timeline

Chief Manley described the timeline of the police response.

At 7:49 a.m. police received the first 911 call that lasted 1 minute and 59 seconds, which said a man with a huge rock was standing in front of a business and had been “verbally threatening.” A supervisor acknowledged he was aware of the call at 7:58 a.m. and that it was in a “holding status.” At 8:02 a.m. an officer was assigned to respond to the call, and the officer said he would let other officers know if they were needed once he arrived.

At 8:09 a.m. the officer arrived at the scene and appeared to be looking through his computer screen and reading through the call. One minute later, someone left Bennu Coffee and told him to come inside because of a disturbance.

“What’s happening at this point that you can see on the video — there is a disturbance taking place,” Manley described. “There are several subjects on the floor and the officer is giving direction to stop and he actually has a taser out at this point.”

Manley said the customers told the officer they were holding the suspect down. As the officer walked toward the suspect and pulled out his handcuffs, those people began to step away.

“What we know from looking at the video at this point is that the officer’s duty belt comes loose at this point,” Manley said, adding later that having duty belts come off is not common and APD is looking into what happened. “And, the officer can be seen having to place his handcuffs down and with both hands regain control of his duty belt and put that back on.”

That’s when Manley said Woodburn got up and ran out from the coffee shop. The officer followed 12 seconds later. Meanwhile, other officers in the area begin a search for Woodburn after losing sight of him.

Police now know that was when Woodburn went inside Freebirds World Burrito, which was closed at the time but had an open side door, and stabbed two people with a knife he found there. He then climbed on top of the building and jumped off at 8:18 a.m. A mental health officer was en route at the time. Manley said injuries from the fall later led to his death.

What we know about Dylan Woodburn

Greenwalt said APD does not know if Woodburn had any association or relationship with the victims, and said Woodburn didn’t say anything before the attack. They also don’t know a motive.

“It was just a violent, unprovoked attack,” Greenwalt said.

Greenwalt added Woodburn isn’t originally from Austin, and police are asking anyone who might have known him or seen him in the day before the attack to call the APD homicide tipline at 512-477-3588.

Woodburn has a criminal history in Austin and Harris County.

This is a mugshot of Woodburn from a September 2019 arrest related to burglarizing a fire station. Woodburn was accused of stealing an Austin Fire Department radio and a firefighter’s shoes.

woodburn mug sept 2019
Dylan Woodburn (Austin Police Department Photo)

His affidavit says he had rapid speech, appeared to be intoxicated and that he admitted to using meth that day.

Woodburn told police, “I’m sorry, something took over. I saw the radio. I saw a book. I saw the shoes. I was looking for truck keys.”

Court records show he took a plea deal in the case Dec. 13, and got out of jail Dec. 16. Woodburn was given a deferred adjudication, a form of probation.

According to court documents, Woodburn was staying at an Integral Care facility on Airport Boulevard at the time of his arrest.

Documents say he’d been staying at the facility for two weeks.

On Saturday, police confirmed Woodburn was homeless.

Drug-related charges in Harris County

Woodburn has other charges out of Harris County, Texas. Between 2013 and 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety records show Woodburn was arrested four times.

One was a terroristic threat charge, a misdemeanor for threatening to hit someone.

The other three were drug-related.

  • August 2013: Possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony
  • May 2017: Possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor
  • October 2017: Manufacture and Delivery of a controlled substance, state jail felony

“This criminal record does not indicate an act of violence to a degree he has alleged to have committed in this particular case,” said retired judge Charlie Baird. “These are cases that indicate that the individual has a drug problem, perhaps even a severe drug problem.”

For the state jail felonies, the DPS records show Woodburn was given probation, but both times, the probation was revoked. He was then given jail time.

“It would indicate to me that he was given a number of chances for these drug issues, but then he did not participate well in the treatment and counseling aspects of the programs, and therefore his probation was revoked,” Baird said.

Baird explained, the punishment Woodburn received in each of these cases, including the Travis County case, is typical.

“What happened here is very very common, and in fact, standard practice,” he said. “I don’t think that there’s anything that anybody in the criminal justice system could’ve done to prevent what happened here.”

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