Copperas Cove should be in the news. The news should all be good, but good news usually doesn’t make the headlines.

Cove is a great little city, mostly occupied by good, honest, hardworking, responsible and moral folks. Unfortunately, a small percentage of our residents are not of such good moral character.

I’m referring in part to those few who repeatedly make the news for domestic violence by assaulting members of their households.

These people show a complete lack of moral character, restraint, tolerance, maturity and social interaction. Only judicial mandated family counseling or stiff judicial sentencing will change the behavior of some of these bullies.

I’m also referring to those among us who commit other crimes in our jurisdiction, such as the petty thefts and low-level drug offenses that we see far too often.

Mostly, however, I’m referring to the scurvy low-life who commit felony crimes in Copperas Cove, either as residents of the city or those who come from other nearby cities to commit crimes here in an effort to avoid detection.

Injury to a child

A Cove man was released on bond Jan. 31 after his arrest and arraignment on the charge of injury to a child.

Diomonic Roshard Crawford of Copperas Cove was freed on a $30,000 bond, according to Bobby Sanders with the Coryell County records department.

According to an affidavit it was detailed that “the victim sustained severe third-degree burns on his feet, ankles, calves, buttocks and genital area, including his penis and testicles.”

In a Jan. 3 report to Child Protective Services, it was reported that the child was possibly the victim of child abuse while under the supervision of his mother and her boyfriend (Crawford).

According to the complaint, the burns sustained by the child were so severe that the child was immediately transferred from Metroplex Hospital to a special burn treatment hospital in San Antonio.

Also stated in the complaint, “his burns/injuries were so severe his flesh peeled from his body in the injured areas, requiring skin grafts and physical therapy for nerve damage.”

The subsequent investigation concluded that the child’s feet and buttocks were held under approximately 1-4 inches of water for a minimum of 30 seconds.

Investigators measured the water temperature to be between 129 and 134 degrees.

According to the complaint, Crawford was the only adult in the bathroom with the child at the time of the incident.

As heinous as this crime appears on the surface, it will be up to the judicial system to determine guilt or innocence in this case.

If found guilty, I trust the court will mete out appropriate penalties.

Bank robbery

A Temple man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a Copperas Cove bank robbery that took place over the weekend.

Police apprehended 28-year-old Randy John Vargas and charged him with robbery, after Copperas Cove police and the FBI conducted an investigation into the incident.

According to a Copperas Cove police report, officers responded to First National Bank in Copperas Cove at about 4:13 p.m. Feb. 6, after reports of a robbery in progress.

When police arrived on the scene, the suspect, later identified as Vargas, had “fled in an unknown direction with an undisclosed amount of money.”

Vargas was arraigned by Judge G.W. Ivey on Wednesday. He is being held in the Bell County Jail with a bond set at $25,000.

Thefts/burglaries

Seven thefts/burglaries were reported to police this week.

  • A burglary of a residence with intent to commit assault was reported Feb. 2 in the 500 block of Sunset Lane.
  • A theft of currency and a purse was reported Feb. 2 in the 900 block of north Seventh Street.
  • A theft of currency, a wallet and a medication was reported Feb. 2 in the 800 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of an electric guitar from a building was reported Feb. 2 in the 2600 block of South Farm-to-Market Road 116.
  • A theft of a cellphone was reported Feb. 3 on Cedar Grove Drive.
  • A burglary of a vehicle was reported Feb. 6 in the 1400 block of Neff Drive. Items valued at $420 were reported stolen. The “take-it, hide it, lock it” philosophy may have prevented this theft.
  • Two motorcycles valued at $20,000 were reported stolen Feb. 6 in the 1600 block of North Main Street.

Assaults

Seven assaults were reported this week. Of these, five involved family violence. Anyone contemplating a rewarding career in Copperas Cove might consider family counseling as a career choice. There are those among us in need of such a service.

  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 1 in the 500 block of West Washington Avenue.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 8 in the 100 block of Myra Lou Avenue.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 5 in the 200 block of Bridle Drive.
  • Two separate counts of assault with bodily injury were reported Feb. 6 in the 300 block of Joe’s Road.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 6 in the 500 block of Sunset Lane.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 6 in the 700 block of Jase Drive.

Other crimes

  • Continued sexual abuse of children was reported Feb. 1. Location is omitted to protect the identity of victims.
  • Illegal dumping was reported Feb. 1 in the 2600 block of Bradford Drive.
  • Criminal trespass was reported Feb. 1 in the 400 block of south 25th Street.
  • Discharge of a gun within city limits was reported Feb. 1 in the 1100 block of Dixon Circle. This is not just illegal, but it is also dangerous. What goes up must come down.
  • Possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces in a drug-free zone and public drunkenness were reported Feb. 2 in the 600 block of South Main Street. An arrest was made.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Feb. 3 in the 1300 block of Bowen Avenue.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Feb. 5 in the 300 block of Erby Avenue.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Feb. 5 in the 300 block of East Avenue E.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported Feb. 3 in the 1800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
  • A forgery of a financial instrument (check) was reported Feb. 5 in the 3400 block of Plateau Street.
  • Forgery of money was reported Feb. 5 in the 2000 block of Urbantke Lane.
  • The sale of tobacco to a minor was reported Feb. 5 in the 500 block of Town Square.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 6 in the 800 block of North First Street. Damage valued at $450 to a window was reported.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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