It was a memorable jog last night for one Houston runner:
So there I am, minding my own business running to `ho last night when the most unlikely thing happened. After roller coaster, I dropped down to the "Alligator Alley" trail that runs right along the edge of the bayou and pretty soon I because vaguely aware of some commotion ahead. I could hear voices and what sounded like someone on a PA. Soon enough I could make out the voices. One was a belligerent man screaming obscenities and the other voice on the PA was saying: "WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED. THERE IS NO PLACE TO GO. GIVE YOURSELF UP AND YOU WILL NOT BE HARMED". It sounded like it was literally right across the bayou from me where the River Oaks houses back up to the bayou. The suddenly, gunshots. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! I hit the ground.
After lying there listening for a while and hearing a few more shots, more yelling, more PA.. I got nervous that the guy is going to come across the bayou and take me hostage or just shoot me (it sounded like he was immediately across the bayou). So I decided I should just get the hell out of there. I stayed low and took off. Then I was thinking that the cops might mistake me for the bad guy and shoot me. F*^k! There were a few more shots as I left the area, but soon enough I had some topography between me and the shootout, so I felt a little better.
Apparently the cops did not have the guy surrounded, because they were police choppers circling the area for the rest of the evening. I figured for sure this would be on the news, but nothing. WTF!? A shoot-out in River Oaks does not make the news!?
Rest easy, runner.
HPD tells Hair Balls there were no such incidents in River Oaks last night; they also noted that the Houston Police Foundation gala is this weekend.
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Why is that relevant? Because the host of the gala, Tilman Fertitta, sometimes entertains gala guests with a surprisingly realistic re-enactment of a SWAT event, with choppers, cops, rappelling down mansion walls, fake gunshots, etc.
CultureMap reveled in the 2009 version, as it does with all such River Oaks-ian excesses.
These things need to be rehearsed, we suppose, and that's likely what was going on last night. We've contacted the Foundation for further info, but it's pretty safe to assume our jogger was not in a near-death experience.
UPDATE: HPD just confirmed that it was a "training exercise/dress rehearsal."