Crime

Teen charged with 6 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after driving into cyclists in Waller County, DA’s Office says

The Waller County District Attorney’s Office announced the charges on Monday, about six weeks after the “rolling coal” incident happened.

WALLER COUNTY, Texas — Charges have been filed against a 16-year-old who is accused of driving his truck into a group of cyclists in Waller County earlier this year.

The Waller County District Attorney’s Office assigned its own investigators to find out what happened and to determine if charges were warranted.

On Monday, The DA’s Office announced the driver would be charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count for each cyclist injured. Three of them were seriously hurt, according to an attorney representing them.

A witness said the teen was taunting the cyclists by “rolling coal” — or blowing exhaust smoke — as he passed them on Sept. 25. He then hit the cyclists who were in front of him. The teen stayed at the scene and spoke to police, but was released and wasn’t charged.

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The District Attorney’s Office said the case was not handled appropriately by investigators and they chose not to reach out to the office when advised to do so.

Authorities said the teen surrendered on Monday after the charges were filed. His name hasn’t been released because he is a juvenile.

Waller police response

Waller Police Chief Bill Llewellyn agreed that the situation was mishandled but denied that it had anything to do with the driver’s connections. The DA’s Office had previously said the teen has connections to Waller city officials. Authorities said there’s no evidence the teen’s connections played a role in the investigation.

“To put it quite simply,” Llewellyn wrote, “they were due to the lack of knowledge on our part and those shortcomings are being dealt with internally and will not be repeated.”

Llewellyn also denied the District Attorney’s claim that they weren’t contacted about the crash. He said a police supervisor at the scene tried to call two people from their office, but no one answered.

“My sergeant was counseled regarding failing to leave a message,” Llewellyn wrote, “but I would also suggest that if the office head wishes to decrease his frustration, he should recommend to his employees that they answer their phone when ‘on call.’”

Written by Cory McCord (KHOU)

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