APD investigating suspicious death in SE Austin - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD investigating suspicious death in SE Austin

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Austin police say the suspect in the city's latest homicide didn't get very far this morning. In fact, he ran right into the path of a newly-created police patrol.

Early Friday morning shots rang out near the Krieg Softball Complex in East Austin. A man was dead.

The suspect headed for a pedestrian tunnel.

"They observed the suspect running and had him detained within minutes," APD Sgt. Jim Beck said.

The arresting officers were working on a newly-created bike trail patrol program. On June 1, the city got rid of a curfew for cyclists, allowing them 24-hour access to the trails. The officers were put in place to keep the cyclists safe.

Sgt. Jim beck oversees the officers involved.

"We've had great interactions with people, but we always know there is a danger element and that's what our officers are on patrol for and last night proved to be an example of that," Beck said.

The crime is a bit eerie for cyclist Carol Barrera.

"We were just there last night," she said."

She and a friend bike three times a week. Their starting point is Krieg Field, but not today.

"I thought I'll stay away from there for now," said Barrera.

She is a fan of the additional police officers and so is Randy Moore.

"In the Texas heat, there needs to be some other alternatives to riding during the daytime and it also lightens up trail traffic because not everyone is trying to get down here at the same time and they feel safer at night," Moore said.

The city has budgeted $350,000 to pay the overtime shifts. That should hold over until the end of the summer. It's a test phase. Police are compiling stats to evaluate the success. Right now, they are mostly writing curfew warnings to those who aren't on bikes late at night.

After the response to the homicide, Sgt. Beck can see the benefit of making this permanent.

"The more officers you have patrolling this area, the better off we all are," said Beck.

The pilot program runs through September 30. Officers will soon start writing citations for curfew violations soon. So remember only cyclists are allowed along the trail after 10 p.m.

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