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Police call minor accident policy a success; group wants official to resign

By Melissa Crowe
Nov. 5, 2013 at 5:05 a.m.

Christina Gomez, left, and Jacklynn Sanchez hold signs calling for the resignation of City Councilman Dr. Andrew Young outside the Victoria City Council meeting  Tuesday. Young was arrested Oct. 24 on suspicion of assault.

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After a six-month trial run, the Victoria Police Department will stick with its new "non-response" policy for fender benders.

Police Chief J.J. Craig gave an update during Tuesday's City Council meeting, calling the program, in which officers no longer respond to minor traffic accidents, a success.

Since the policy began in April, more than half the accident calls fell into the category of "non-response." During the same period in 2012, 461 of the 879 total accidents that were reported were minor.

Craig said the change freed up resources for higher-urgency matters.

"We figured we saved about 109 man-hours not responding and handling those types of calls," Craig said.

Protesters gather

Tuesday was the first Victoria City Council meeting since Councilman Dr. Andrew Young was arrested on suspicion of family violence. Janie Gonzales and others, both inside and outside City Hall, called for his resignation.

Gonzales, a Victoria resident who has spent the past 30 years as a medical professional, said she has "the utmost respect" for Young, who has also treated her family.

"I'm asking the council to please give him the opportunity to take care of his issues for his family, for his children. Your colleagues will greatly respect you," she said.

Young was arrested Oct. 24 after police received a report of a disturbance at his home in the 800 block of West Commercial Street.

Young, 40, and his wife, 35, were drinking alcohol and got into a verbal argument that escalated, according to a police officer's report.

Young is being investigated for an assault causing bodily injury to a family member, a Class A misdemeanor. He was arrested on suspicion of a third-degree felony, but records show a judge has since reduced the charge. Young has not yet been formally charged by the district attorney's office.

After Tuesday's meeting, Young said he had no comment to the public discussion.

"It's a personal matter," he said. "I appreciate everybody's prayers and support for my family."

Outside the meeting, protesters who hoisted signs and wore masks called for Young's resignation.

Jaime Solis, 32, of Victoria, organized the protest through social media.

Solis, a father of four, said he hopes Young steps down from the City Council.

"If you can't take care of things in your own home, how are you going to represent the city?" he asked. "He ran a Christian campaign. For him to pull a move like that ... he should be ashamed."

Bianca Montes contributed to this report.

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