Houston Police Make 109 Arrests During Super Bowl Week

Houston Police Make 109 Arrests During Super Bowl Week
Zach Despart
Zach Despart
As promised, the Houston Police Department has launched its "public shaming campaign" against johns charged with soliciting sex during the Super Bowl week.

Police released details about their previously hyped-up crackdown on sex trafficking Tuesday alongside total arrests made during the Super Bowl — which police said were far lower than the last time Houston hosted the Super Bowl, in 2004.

Over the ten-day period full of Super Bowl festivities, police netted 107 arrests that could be feasibly tied to the Super Bowl (i.e., the suspects said they were in town for it or the drunk person was arrested at NFL Experience). That's compared to 189 over just a four-day period in 2004.

Of this year's 107 arrests, 21 were prostitution-related — though 18 of those were prostitutes. Nineteen people were arrested for public intoxication; 11 for trademark infringement or selling counterfeit materials, totaling $825,000 in seized items; eight were for assault.

Captain Dan Harris of HPD's Vice Division said officers made 217 total prostitution- or sex trafficking-related arrests over the ten-day period, including the 21 specifically tied to the Super Bowl. Fifty-six were prostitutes, four of whom police identified as sex-trafficking victims and who will receive services instead of jail. Eleven were pimps, who police said at an earlier press conference were the real targets. And a hundred more were lowly johns.

Among them were an HISD counselor, a retired HPD sergeant, and two Houston Fire Department firemen — one of whom was on duty at the time of the arrest, police said. Yeah.

They also netted a guy trying to buy sex from an undercover HPD officer while his four-year-old was in the car. Yep.

As Police Chief Art Acevedo promised to these johns last month: "When we arrest you, we will expose you for the sick person that you are, and we will plaster your face in the community so people know the content of your character."

HPD has chosen to do so in the form of a Flickr photo album. If this is the kind of thing you're into, then you can check out that album here.
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn