News & Politics

Why Would Anyone Want to Live in Austin Anymore After What the Travis County DA Just Did?

Official portrait of Travis County DA Jose Garza. From his official government website.

Most police officers do heroic things when they’re needed to. Earlier this week in Austin, Texas, police officers pulled a man from a burning truck just before it exploded. The footage the police body cameras captured looks like a scene from the hit cop show The Rookie. Which, by the way, is quite good when it’s at its best.

These are the officers who put themselves at risk and saved that man from certain death.

When they’re not saving lives, Austin police are often dealing with the likes of David Olmos.

Olmos isn’t a household name unless you know the Texas prison system well. Austin police certainly know him and his body of work. The eight-time felon convict was arrested (again) on May 25, 2021, after he had allegedly carjacked and gone on a crime spree, including multiple armed robberies across Austin.

Olmos’s recent rap sheet is eye-watering. According to a report PJ Media has obtained, he has confessed to a crime spree that includes 10 armed robberies in 10 days.

Prior to this, Olmos has been convicted of eight felonies. Olmos’ most recent conviction came on February 11, 2019, in Travis County for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. That got him five years. He didn’t serve that time. 

Olmos was released on November 2, 2020, and was set to remain on parole until October of 2023.

But on April 2, 2021, while on parole, Olmos allegedly evaded arrest in a vehicle from the Sealy Police Department, in southeast Texas near Houston. Sealy police pursued him from that area until the Texas Department of Public Safety took over the chase as he moved west. Troopers pursued him into Travis County where he was apprehended. A source says Mr. Olmos was found in possession of a handgun and methamphetamine. He was arrested once again for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, evading arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.

Just four days later — on April 6, 2021 — Olmos was released from jail on a personal bond despite the fact he was a flight risk (he had just led police on a chase across Texas). The conditions of the personal bond included a GPS ankle monitor he was required to wear. Olmos allegedly removed that ankle monitor, and his personal bond was revoked on May 19, 2021. By then, he was already allegedly engaged in a crime spree.

Olmos would allegedly go on to commit ten robberies in 10 days across greater Austin. Nine of the robberies occurred within APD’s jurisdiction and one was in the jurisdiction of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

  • The first robbery occurred on May 15, 2021, at 1747 Rutland Drive. The second and third robberies occurred on May 18, 2021, at 933 E. Rundberg Lane and at 7612 Brodie Lane respectively. The fourth and fifth robberies occurred on May 20, 2021, at 8422 S. Congress Avenue and at 7612 Bluff Springs Road respectively. The latter is in the county sheriff’s jurisdiction. The sixth and seventh robberies occurred on May 22, 2021, at 1025 W. Stassney Lane and 2538 Elmont Drive, respectively.
  • The first seven robberies Olmos allegedly committed had similar characteristics, in which the suspect entered convenience stores, displayed a handgun, and demanded cash from the clerks. Surveillance video revealed the suspect arrived and fled these scenes in a 2017 silver Chevrolet Silverado.
  • The eighth robbery occurred on May 23, 2021, at 10800 N. Lamar Boulevard. Olmos allegedly stole cash from the victim and fled the scene. The victim called 9-1-1 while chasing after Olmos. Olmos allegedly retrieved a firearm and fired shots at the victim. Officers arrived on the scene, but Olmos allegedly evaded arrest in the same silver Chevrolet Silverado witnesses saw at the first seven robberies.
  • The ninth robbery also occurred on May 23, 2021, at a Cricket Wireless store, on North Lamar Boulevard. Olmos allegedly stole cash from the victim and as the victim confronted him, Olmos displayed a silver handgun and threatened him.
  • The tenth and final robbery occurred on May 25, 2021, at 4918 Burleson Road. Olmos allegedly threatened the victim with a handgun and carjacked him. Olmos left behind his Silverado truck, which Austin police seized. The stolen vehicle was equipped with a GPS tracker and was tracked in real-time immediately after the carjacking. The Region 4 Metro Tactical Unit located Olmos and the victim’s vehicle.

That unit is set to be disbanded due to the massive budget cuts that Mayor Steve Adler and the 2020 city council imposed on APD. 

Olmos was arrested on the scene and was allegedly found to be in possession of the stolen vehicle keys, cocaine, methamphetamine, and a silver handgun that matched the description of the gun that was used in the previous robberies. It also matched the caliber of the rounds fired at the victim during robbery #8.

Olmos reportedly confessed to the 10 robberies and confessed to knowingly possessing a firearm even though he is a convicted felon.

The question residents of Travis County and Austin should be asking is a simple one: With eight prior felony convictions on his record, and a chase just four days before his release on April 6, why was David Olmos free?

That’s a question for Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza. Garza has prioritized prosecuting police officers. He ran on that platform and won his election in 2020. His office put Olmos back on the streets four days after the chase.

Meanwhile, Garza’s hand-picked #2 stands behind this message she sent out to her activist lawyer friends.

Austin

Here are the policies DA Garza enacted, which presume release even in felony cases. Pay attention to the flowcharts. The DA, whose own policy guidelines seem to push for personal recognizance bonds technically cannot issue them himself, seems to be heavily advocating for courts to have these violent offenders released on said bonds.

Why?

Austin police nabbed Olmos, but will he even be prosecuted to the full extent the law allows?

And how many Austin police officers will even still be on the job in a few months?

Criminals know there aren’t enough APD officers after Mayor Steve Adler led the vote to defund the department by a third of its budget in August 2020.

Crime shot up accordingly after the defunding, as could be expected and as has happened in cities across the country that defunded police. Many of them are now reconsidering. Austin, so far, is not.