KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
December 31, 2018
By Natalie Cook Clark
From unexplained deaths to robberies to post office nightmares, here's a local look back at some of Katy's most intriguing, interesting, and heartbreaking news stories of 2018.
1. Cinco Ranch Couple Ordered to Pay Enslaved Nanny $121,000
In January of 2018 a Canyon Gate couple was ordered to pay their nanny more than $121,000 in restitution. Chudy Nsobundu, 57, and his wife Sandra Nsobundu, 49, also were sentenced to seven months in jail and seven months of home confinement, plus three years' probation.
The Nsolodus, who are naturalized U.S. citizens originally from Nigeria, recruited the woman there with the promise of a $100 monthly wage which was never paid during the time she worked for them in their Canyon Gate home from September 2013 to October 2015. “The defendants knowingly caused a false visa application for the victim to be submitted to the Department of State with numerous pieces of false information," said the statement from federal prosecutors. In addition to making multiple false claims on government documents they had their nanny work in harsh conditions without pay. She was expected to work 20 hour days taking care of their five children and home.
The Nsobundus regularly threatened to send the nanny back to Nigeria if she did not comply with their labor demands. The couple prevented the nanny from leaving their home by taking away her passport and threatening her with physical and mental harm. After two years of enduring such treatment The nanny reached out for help and was rescued following a tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Her name has not been released.
2. Good Samaritans Stop Robbery in Katy Grocery Store Parking Lot
On Monday, October 1 at around 6:30 pm, a couple shopping at Kroger witnessed a crime in progress and called 911. The incident happened at the Southpark Cinco Ranch location at 25050 Farm to Market 1093 near Spring Green. Some witnesses saw a suspicious man holding a black baton-type object walking in between cars.The witnesses thought he was looking to break into cars but then watched as the man turned and started following a teenage girl approximately 17-18 years old. The suspect then approached an older man and poked him with the weapon saying, "give me $25 or I'll kill you."
One of the unidentified good Samaritans tried to take the weapon away as the suspect took off on foot. The good Samaritan then chased him and the man was detained by the group until the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Officers arrived.
Major Chad Norvell of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said the suspect seemed to be in a mental crisis and was reportedly threatening people with a bat. He was taken into custody and then transported to a hospital for evaluation.
3. Two Arrested at Katy Massage Parlor on Mason Road
In September Deputies from Constable Ted Heap's Office worked with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office to shut down a Katy massage parlor for practicing
After a citizen complained about Yoko Thai Massage in the 900 block of South Mason Road, deputies conducted an undercover investigation of the licensed massage parlor. The investigation ended on Tuesday, September 25, with the arrest of Yuying Yuan, 53, on prostitution charges, and Xin Guan, 31, on charges of operating a massage parlor without a license.
4. Serious Complaints About the Katy Pin Oak Annex Post Office
After multiple reports of unsatisfactory service and mail delivery at the Katy Pin Oak Mail Annex for USPS, Katy Magazine reached out last March for answers and basically got nowhere, despite multiple attempts.
The Katy Pin Oak Annex, located at 1331 Pin Oak Road, has received numerous community complaints from residents in reviews and all over social media. The majority of complaints are lost, undelivered, incorrectly delivered, difficulty of getting mailbox keys, extremely delayed mail, hang ups or no answers at the facility, and a lack of customer service primarily at the Katy Annex location.
Just tried to pick up a mailbox key for a new house. First time I was there, they said the key is not ready and ask me to come back again in 2-3 weeks. I called a week later to check on the status, the staff answered the phone not even familiar to the name community. After I clarified the name of the community, she told me the key is not available without even ask my address!..." R. C.
Keep losing our packages, or they are delivered to the wrong mailbox in our subdivision. My mailman only delivers every few days at this point. S. V.
And this is just a sample of the complaints. After several attempts Katy Magazine did get a response from USPS but nothing much changed and residents still report mail loss and ongoing issues about Pin Oak Post office. Read the response and other resident concerns here.
5. Missing Katy Man Found Dead in Towne Lake, Homicide Still Investigating
Jordan Davenport of Katy was last seen Saturday, October 27 in the Cypress Towne Lakes area. His body was then found in the lake. Homicide investigators are looking into the suspicious nature of his death. As of now, there have been no arrests made.
Davenport, 29, is the father of three girls ages 13, 8, and 3. He attended a Halloween party on Saturday in the neighborhood and no one heard from him after he escorted a friend home. His family grew concerned and started posting fliers and spreading the search for him on social media. His family reached out to Katy Magazine and we joined the search by making a social media post asking his whereabouts.
He was last seen at the Boardwalk in Towne Lake on October 27 around 8 pm. Around that time residents reported seeing a man of his description in their back yard. In their own social media post, they said they followed him and chased him up to the bridge near the lake and lost sight of him around there. The investigation is still ongoing.
6. Katy Woman Shot in Drive-By on South Mason Road
A woman was shot on a Tuesday afternoon while driving to a car wash near Cimarron Parkway and South Mason Road in Katy. The woman was shot in the shoulder and underwent surgery. While her name never was released per her wishes, she was expected to make a full recovery.
The woman told investigators that she was driving southbound on Mason Road, in a silver SUV, turning into Simoniz car wash/oil change business at 910 South Mason Road when she heard a pop and was struck by a bullet.
After an investigation no one is in custody.
7. Katy ISD Superintendent Resigns and New One is Hired
In May of this year Katy ISD superintendent Lance Hindt announced his resignation after being repeatedly accused of questionable past behaviors initiated by a parent in Katy ISD. Sean Dolan, Hindt's most outspoken critic, accused the superintendent first of bullying students as a teenager, then of assaulting a man at age 18, then of plagiarizing his doctorate thesis. When Hindt's family started feeling the brunt of the accusations, Hindt decided to leave the district.
Deputy superintendent Ken Gregorski became the acting superintendent and was recently announced to be the lone candidate for the position.
Left: Dr. Lance Hindt Right: Ken Gregorski
While 2018 was a year for success in the classroom and Katy's schools as they continued to represent in the top rankings the drama has only continued to increase at the board of trustees meetings.
8. Multiple Armed Robberies in Katy
This December saw an increase in crime. On December 15, In less than an hour, 3-4 armed suspects robbed several victims at local businesses and establishments in Katy. According to the Katy Police Department, the suspects are three black males and one black female. One of the black males produced a firearm. The crimes happened at night but victims descriptions of the car ranged from gray, silver and/or brown. The suspects were captured several days later.
Katy authorities offered citizens great tips to help stay safe. Read them all here.
Residents also looked out for one another this year. One alert neighbor interrupted a a Cinco Ranch burglary as it was happening. The suspects put down the TV they were carrying and fled the home.
9. Katy Couple Ordered to Remove BETO Painted Lawn Sign
The 2018 election season brought out a lot of passion on both sides especially when people spoke about the Senate race between Senator Ted Cruz and State Representative Beto O'Rourke. A 24 by 18 foot BETO lawn sign caused a controversy in Estates of Chesterfield.
Homeowners Matthew Duffy and Shannon Bennett have lived in Katy for five years and moved here from Oklahoma. The couple began painting the sign on Sunday and on Monday they received a violation notice from the HOA stating it needed to be down within five days.
Duffy says he just painted the sign to express himself personally and didn't expect or want national attention. "Many people have died in protection of the constitution and particularly the protection of the first amendment, so you've got to go with your heart."
The past year saw a lot of residents frustration with HOA restrictions and took to social media to voice complaints and concerns. While HOAs have responsibility to maintain shared spaces and enforce aesthetic rules of homes, some Katy homeowners voiced opinions that the HOA's were going to far in some cases while doing nothing in other cases. "A house in Cinco Ranch's North Lake Village has not been mowed since October (2017). Squatters were there for 7 months. HOA keeps saying their crew will mow the yard but week after week. Nothing." -D. Wallis, Cinco Ranch. The day after our story went public the yard was mowed.
"Like most things, you only read about the bad experiences which just don't come up that often," says Don Mach, president of Nottingham HOA for thirteen years.. "In Nottingham we have older homes, most built in the late 70's and most people have the attitude that it's my property and I can do what I want. Well if you lived out by yourself you could but when you live in a community you can't raise pigs or run a trucking company. In my 14 years of serving on the HOA I've only experienced 2-4 people not meeting deed restrictions." But Mack would likely agree that restrictions in Nottingham might be far less stringent than restrictions in Cinco Ranch or some of the newer home communities.
It was a big year of complaints and the problem is ongoing. Read more here.
Happy New Year Katy, Texas! Watch for more stories in the upcoming year. Request a free email subscription to keep tabs on what's happening here!