Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So this morning we hear a helicopter orbiting around the state park that we're at near Austin.  We stayed at this park on and off for a couple of months before Melissa's last day of work.  I had gotten used to the police helicopters using the park for practice since it is only a mile as the crow flies from Austin Bergstrom Int'l Airport and is off of the approach and departure paths.  I tuned it out.

Melissa went outside to do some morning yoga.  A few minutes later she comes back in and says, "A police car just came crashing through the woods down a trail."  About the same time the helicopter comes back over and is much lower and going much slower than I'd ever seen them fly before - the trees next to our motorhome were whipping around in the rotor wash.  Hrm.  This is probably a really realistic drill.

About 30 minutes later someone knocks on the door.  It's a TPWD (Texas Parks & Wildlife) Game Warden.  He says that there's a fugitive in the park, about 30 years old, medium build, short hair, brown eyes and hair.  Well crap, seeing as I match that description fairly well I'm not going to be able to walk outside today without being questioned at gunpoint multiple times (if you've ever been in the middle of a good old fashioned Texas manhunt, you'll understand.)  The Warden says that the fugitive went on a string of burglaries and car thefts overnight and to keep our car & motorhome locked.  He went on to say that if we leave the park our car will be searched and that the park is now officially closed so we will not be able to get back in until after the fugitive is caught.  Will do, except that the motorhome lock broke while we were in Abilene.  I fixed the lock and Melissa went out for groceries - she texted to say that the entrance to the park was a zoo with cops and media.  Since this park is the "training park" for TPWD and their state headquarters is only 1/4 mile away, every Game Warden on Earth had descended on the park along with county, state, and local police and SWAT.  They had guns, and more guns, and four wheelers, and dogs, and trucks, cars, SUV's, and OHV's of every description and size, and guns (if you've ever been in the middle of a good old fashioned Texas manhunt, you'll understand.)

I was having a busy day at work, so I got back to work and tuned it all out.

Melissa came home a couple of hours later and said it was even more of a circus outside.  A little while later another Warden knocks on the door and asks to search our motorhome.  Melissa said, "Sure, but be quiet, my husband's working."  :)  He searched through the motorhome, gave her the OK sign, tipped his hat and walked out.

About 30 minutes later another Warden came by to let us know that they had flushed the fugitive out of the park and caught him.  The park was open again.  That was just about the time I finished with my work for the day.  I feel like I missed all the fun.  Here's the guy's mug shot.


  1. Holy crap!! At McKinney Falls?!?!? That's some scary stuff. I would have been checking every nook and cranny because that's one scary looking dude.

  2. Yep, McKinney Falls. They said he looked a lot worse than that when they caught him finally. He'd spent an entire day running around without a shirt in the 100 degree heat and was burned to a crisp. I bet that hurt when they tossed him on the ground...