Tuesday, January 27, 2009
More Texas Rangers
I was in Duval County where the District Judge was trying a fraud case. George Parr, the boss of Duval County, was serving as sheriff. Two Texas Rangers were there to preserve order. The Houston Post sent Keith Hawkins to be my photographer. Hawkins was eager to make a rep. When the judge called for a recess Hawkins stepped out in front and took a picture of Sheriff George Parr. This infuriated Parr and he grabbed Hawkins and tried to take his camera away. I had not choice but to intervene and so there we were three grown men holding on to each other and spinning around. To my relief, Texas Ranger Joe Bridges intervened. He took Parr by the arm and led him outside the courtroom. Then he came back and told me: "I ain't here to babysit you newspaper reporters. Why don't you leave." I grabbed Hawkins and took him outside and told him to go back to Houston. But Hawkins was not through yet. He went back and told the Post editors that George Parr had attacked him. The Post ran a front page story with Hawkins, sporting a black eye, featured as the victim. Meanwhile the judge had dismissed the original case. I was in nearby Alice, Texas, wondering what to do next. In my next blog I will tell you what happened.