HOUSTON - The Houston Police Department is giving the city a round of applause after what it calls a significant decrease in Super Bowl-related arrests this year compared to the last time Houston hosted the big game.
HPD announced on Tuesday 107 Super Bowl-related arrests were made over a 10-day period this time around.
Compare that to 189 Super Bowl-related arrests in 2004 over a four-day period.
According to Houston Police, the most common arrests this year include 21 for vice prostitution, 19 for public intoxication, 11 for trademark/counterfeit with illegal items seized (worth an estimated $825,000), eight for assault and eight for open warrants.
Police are crediting a beefed up police presence, public awareness and the setup of this year’s activities for the lower number of arrests.
“We had larger venues. The Discovery venue and the whole Super Bowl Live footprint was a whole lot bigger than what we had in 2004 when it was all on Main Street," said HPD Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik. "We feel like the larger venues and the open spaces gave people a lot more room to bump into one another.”
In addition to those arrests that were made during Super Bowl activities, Houston Police said it made more than 100 additional prostitution related arrests during its 10-day sweep.
Among those arrested: Efrail Velasquez, a father who allegedly had his 4-year-old child in the car with him when he tried to buy sex from an undercover officer; Emile Fair, an HISD Counselor; Wayne Jones, a retired HPD Sergeant; William Cassity, a pilot; Alprentice Blanks, an HFD EMT; Yeuy Teang, also an HFD EMT.
Police said Teang is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves who was on duty drilling at Ellington Field at the time of his arrest. Investigators told KHOU 11 News that Teang was handcuffed in his army uniform after trying to pick up a decoy (who was posing a prostitute nearby).
(© 2017 KHOU)