Archive for the ‘Assault’ Category

Forrest Wayne charged with sex assault of 13-year old he met at Westside Fitness Center

Police in Houston are actively looking for 41-year old fitness instructor Forrest Wayne, formerly employed at Westside Fitness Center, 1200 Wilcrest Drive, Houston. Wayne has been charged with sexual assault of a child. Police say Wayne, working as a fitness instructor at the time, “befriended” the 13-year old girl and used phone calls and text messages to develop a relationship with her.  Police say Wayne’s pursuit of the girl devolved into sexual encounters at the Memorial Inn & Suites located at 9535 Katy Freeway, Houston. The assaults took place between some time in July and October 10th, 2013. The victim is identified in documents filed in connection with Wayne’s criminal charges, but we choose not to identify the girl here to help preserve her privacy.

Westside Fitness Center sexual assault Forrest Wayne personal trainer

Forrest Wayne, age 41

Westside Fitness Center issued a statement to ABC Channel 13 News confirming HPD’s ongoing investigation of the matter, that they took “swift action” once they were alerted to the incident and that they declined further comment. ABC spoke to a few of Wayne’s neighbors at his apartment address, one of whom said they saw Wayne with a small suitcase some weeks ago, apparently preparing to leave. If you have information that would help the police catch up with Forrest Wayne, PLEASE call HPD at 713 731 5356.

As of this morning, Forrest Wayne’s bio is still on the Westside Fitness Center web site (see below). This case raises some serious concerns about how Wayne was able to lure this child away from the fitness center to a motel, and whether better supervision and monitoring of his activities could have prevented what happened.

Forrest Wayne charged with sexual assault of 13-year old girl

Forrest Wayne's bio page on Westside Fitness Center's web site

Chain reaction wreck on US59 involves 12 vehicles, injuries

This Toyota minivan with what appears to be out of state license plates was severely damaged in the November 8, 2011 chain reaction wreck on US 59 in Houston

Around 3:30pm on Tuesday November 8, 2011 a major collision shut down the southbound lanes of US59. The multi-vehicle chain reaction style crash involved an 18-wheeler, an RV and at least 10 passenger cars, including the severely damaged Toyota minivan pictured above. Three children had to be extracted from the van according to Channel 11, and they were transported to the hospital along with others involved. An 18-wheeler lost a load of pipe in the collision. Channel 13 reports the location of the wreck as US 59 near Northpark outside Kingwood.  Channel 2 is the only media site that lists an apparent cause for the collision: the 18-wheeler came upon the scene of a previous wreck and was unable to stop in time causing the big rig to swerve and jackknife.

Comcast worker accused of raping 14-year old girl

Comcast worker Jose Torres was charged on Friday with aggravated assault of a child, and Houston police are looking for him. Torres is accused of raping a 14-year old girl 2 days after visiting her home. Torres visited the family’s home last summer trying to sell them cable service from Comcast, according to investigators. The girl told police that 2 days later Torres returned to her family’s trailer, broke in while she was sleeping and held a knife to her throat. The 14-year old later identified Torres from a photo spread; Torres had left his business card at the home.

KPRC Local News Channel 2 called the number on the business card Monday afternoon and spoke to Torres who told their reported Phil Archer that he is cooperating with law enforcement and that the accusation of rape is due to mistaken identity. Torres told the reporter that he met with police and submitted his DNA, however police say no testable DNA was recovered from the scene. A Comcast spokesman said that Torres worked for a Comcast contractor, that he passed a criminal background check and that he was fired shortly after a police investigation.

Generally an employer is responsible for the actions, including negligence, of its employees provided the employee’s actions were within the course and scope of employment.  This is known as vicarious liability and also known as respondeat superior.  Put another way, an employer will answer for the wrongs of an employee provided what the employee was doing at the time was part of the employee’s typical work duties. On the other hand if the employee did something well outside the course and scope of his/her employment, the employer is probably not responsible. Under certain circumstances an employer may be responsible for an employee’s acts that are outside the course and scope, for example if the employer negligently hired the employee, negligently trained them, or negligently retained them. One example would be if an employer knew an employee would have access to vulnerable members of the public, such as children, yet the employer failed to do a background check on the employee or respond to complaints about the employee behaving inappropriately toward children.

If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligent or intentional acts of a company employee, call or email the experienced Houston personal injury attorneys at Smith & Hassler for a no charge consultation and review of your case. Large companies put their resources to work right away when they believe they are facing a legal problem: let the attorneys at Smith & Hassler advise you of your legal rights as soon as possible.

Comcast employee Jose Torres is facing rape charges after allegedly assaulting a 14-year old Houston girl in her family's trailer.

La Marque woman puts bullet hole in robber’s SUV

A 56-year old La Marque woman fended off an attempted robbery by a man in a Wal-Mart parking lot when she pulled a concealed handgun and opened fire. The woman struggled with the man shortly before 3:00pm as he apparently attempted to take her car. The woman, a concealed handgun holder, was able to grab the pistol from the console of her car. She pointed her gun at the man who fled toward a silver or gray SUV driven by an accomplice. The woman fired several shots at the fleeing SUV as it sped away, one of the bullets struck the rear of the vehicle. The attacker was armed with a pistol. Police are looking for a silver or gray SUV with a bullet hole and Texas license plate number NMG 714. The Houston Chronicle’s story is here and has drawn many reader comments, which are overwhelmingly in praise of the woman’s actions.

Brown Hand Center former surgeon accused of wife’s assault

Former Houston-area hand surgeon Michael Glyn Brown, owner of the Brown Hand Center, currently stands accused of assaulting his fourth wife by twisting her arm behind her back.  He was arrested Tuesday August 24th.  Mr. Brown pleaded guilty in 2002 to assaulting his third wife. Mr. Brown is free on $40,000 bail, must surrender his passport and is to have no contact with his wife Rachel Brown.  Mr. Brown has retained high-profile Houston defense attorney Dick DeGuerin. Mr. Brown’s television commercials for his carpal tunnel surgery center are frequently seen by Houston residents: the commercials feature Mr. Brown with his wife and daughters telling viewers that he will care for his patients just as he cares for his own family. Mr. Brown’s medical license was revoked in 2006 after he tested positive for cocaine.  Mr. Brown’s marketing materials state that he personally trains the physicians at the Brown Hand Center. In the 2002 incident, Brown pleaded no contest to an aggravated assault charge for beating his then-pregnant wife Darlina with a bed post. A year before Mr. Brown admitted guilt in the assault on Darlina, a jury hearing the facts of the couple’s divorce awarded Darlina $5.4 million for her injuries, including pain and suffering.

The Houston Chronicle’s story is available here and in less than 24 hours has already drawn 447 comments.