What Dead Passenger?

Driver caught with corpse in front seat.


What Dead Passenger?
Driver caught with corpse in front seat

By Richard Connelly

When a cop pulls you over because your windshield is shattered, your front end is crumpled and — as he points out to you — you seem to have a dead person sitting next to you in the front seat, what are your options?

a) Ask, "What seems to be the problem, officer?"

b) Start madly spinning a tale of escaping an Uzi ambush and trying to find a hospital for your wounded friend.

c) Admit that, yeah, you hit something on the highway a couple of minutes ago, but say you were unaware there was a dead body sitting next to you.

James John Onak, 49, took the third option last week and now faces criminal charges. "Onak was believed to be under the influence," HPD says, stunningly.

He's facing a felony charge of failure to stop and render aid and a misdemeanor charge of tampering with evidence. They later added a DWI charge and felony accident involving injury.

Police say Onak was driving his Mazda 626 on the Gulf Freeway about 12:30 a.m. when he hit a man who had stopped when his car broke down and was "running back and forth across the freeway." The name of the 32-year-old male victim has not been released.

Onak continued driving until he was pulled over by a deputy constable about three miles later at Beamer Road at Kirkvalley.

"According to the deputy, the Mazda had extensive front-end damage and he observed the deceased victim in the front passenger seat," HPD says. "The driver advised the deputy that he had hit something on the freeway but was not aware the victim was lying in the passenger seat."

Yeah, he might have been under the influence.


Anti-Gay Tweet Spurs Hilarious Apology

By Richard Connelly

Brown Coffee Company, a San Antonio outfit we've raved about in the past, is in hot water over a tweet sent out on the company's account.

In the wake of New York's decision to legalize gay marriage, the account (now taken down) posted this:

"No human law can ever legitimize what natural law precludes. #SorryFolks #NotEqual #WhyBother #ChasingAfterTheWind #SelfEvident"

It seemed clear enough, and outrage soon followed. A boycott was organized.

But the fun was just beginning.

From the company's blog:

Recently, a Twitter post that was made via our company's Twitter account has exploded into something it was never meant to be and we want to correct the record. In the post, it mentioned the differences between Natural Law and Human Law and mentioned that they were different and unequal. This was a post about CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY and LAWS (a la Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc.), not PEOPLE; but somehow people began to twist what was written and added their own lies to the post to mean that somehow we at The Brown Coffee Company are hateful, homophobic, intolerant people.


"People have begun to attack our friends and business associates based on these incorrect lies," it goes on, eventually breaking into all-caps mode: "WE ABSOLUTELY REJECT THE LIES PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT US AND THIS TWITTER POST."

So yeah, read the tweet again, you brain-dead liars. It clearly is not intended as anything that could seem homophobic. "Sorry folks, not equal, why bother" — it's just constructive criticism.


There’s tons of stuff each day on the Houston Press blogs; you’re only getting a taste of it here in the print edition. Head to blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs (or “/rocks” or “eating” or “/artattack”).

Spaced City

Houston's same-sex couples are among the nation's most likely to be raising children together, a study showed; the local SPCA picked a pet of the week who we found to be disturbingly sinister-looking; and a veteran HPD cop was kicked off the force for throwing a tear-gas canister into a competitor's tent at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's annual barbecue competition. Man takes his BBQ seriously.


A Montgomery County grandmother threatened a worldwide bomb plot because she couldn't get the ATM to work; police took it very seriously. A Texas City road rage incident led to two drivers getting out to face each other in an epic showdown worthy of Sergio Leone: a gun vs. a bowl of oatmeal. And a man who solicited an underage girl online and was caught by a cop in the woods with her shortly after they had sex escaped twice from police before finally getting taken to jail

Art Attack

We interviewed funny man Rob Schneider and covered Westbranch's first-ever community art crawl. We gave you the low-down on tons of summer theater, including reviews of Ensemble's Blues in the Night and Pasadena Little Theatre's To Kill a Mockingbird; we also interviewed cast members from The Alley's And Then There Were None. We gave you some pretty pictures of downtown buildings, lamented the pointlessness of the Emmys and listed our favorite alien movies. And we paid tribute to Mel Brooks on his 85th birthday with a list of our favorite musical numbers from his movies (yes, we included "Springtime for Hitler").

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