May 17, 2022

60-year-old Man Tied, Dragged by Truck, and Set on Fire; Ana De Armas Dating Tinder VP Paul Boukadakis; Officer Found $1.2 M Worth of Cocaine While Checking Sea Turtles; 4 Killed, 4 Wounded at a Home Gathering; Massive Fire Continues at Rockton

60-year-old Man Tied, Dragged by a Pick-up Truck, and Set on Fire

A Texas man was charged with murder after investigators said he reportedly beat his mother’s ex-boyfriend to a pulp and dragged him behind a pick-up truck, where he was discovered dead. The body was apparently found after a neighbor called 911 to report a fire. Emergency personnel found a burnt-out truck with a body behind it.

Robert Eugene Hoffpauir, 37, was arrested and accused of murdering Roman Rodriguez, 60, the suspect’s mother’s ex-boyfriend, on Sunday night after neighbors reported a burning pick-up truck near the unincorporated village of Rye, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

When officers arrived, they discovered the body of a man – later identified as Rodriguez – behind the burned-out truck, Capt. Ken DeFoor, a sheriff’s office public information officer, said in a statement.

Rodriguez, according to investigators, went to the home of Hoffpauir and his mother, Timey Ann Cole, near Rye, Texas, on Saturday night and the two men got into an altercation about Rodriguez’s relationship with Hoffpauir’s mother. According to detectives, Hoffpauir badly battered Rodriguez before tying a tow strap around his waist and attaching it to his pick-up vehicle.

“During the altercation, Rodriguez was severely beaten into submission by Hoffpauir and tied up with a tow strap that was attached to his pick-up truck on one end,” said DeFoor.

According to authorities, Hoffpauir dragged Rodriguez a considerable distance from the home before dumping the truck and lighting it on fire.

DeFoor stated that it is unknown when the victim died during the incident and that an “autopsy will determine whether Rodriguez died before he was dragged by the truck or afterward.”

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers are conducting an investigation.

According to DeFoor, Hoffpauir is now being held at the Liberty County Jail on a $1 million bond.

According to local news agency Bluebonnet News, Hoffpauir has also been charged with corpse abuse. Hoffpauir’s attorney information was not immediately available Tuesday night.

Ben Affleck Ex, Ana De Armas Moves on with Tinder Exec Paul Boukadakis

Ana de Armas has reportedly moved on from Ben Affleck and is now seeing Tinder VP Paul Boukadakis, Page Six has exclusively learned from several sources.

De Armas, who dated Affleck from early 2020 to January of this year after meeting on the production of thriller “Deep Water,” has been quietly dating gorgeous tech exec Boukadakis for a few months.

A source tells us, “Paul and Ana were introduced through friends. He is based in Austin, but splits his time between Texas and Santa Monica. He has been spending a lot of time with Ana before she left the US to film her new movie.”

According to the source, the new couple is getting along well, and he has even introduced de Armas to members of his family.

Boukadakis co-founded and served as CEO of Wheel, which Tinder purchased in 2017 to enable video collaboration.

He was named Tinder’s vice president of special initiatives and has been tasked with creating content for the platform, including “Swipe Night.”

Meanwhile, in May, Ana traveled to the set of her new Netflix feature, “The Gray Man.” She was pictured in a royal blue one-piece swimsuit in Mallorca a month ago.

Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling, and “Bridgerton” sensation Regé-Jean Page also star in “The Gray Man.” The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name, which chronicles a fatal duel between ex-CIA officer Court Gentry (Gosling) and Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former CIA cohort.

De Armas, 33, and Affleck, 48, had called it quits in January after nearly a year together, with insiders stating that the split was amicable but that the couple had realized they were in different stages of life.

Affleck famously rekindled his romance with Jennifer Lopez, and the two were spotted kissing this week in Malibu during a romantic family date.

De Armas, for her part, was seen in April in Los Angeles with a mystery man who had a striking similarity to Boukadakis just before she left for Mallorca.


Wildlife Officer Found $1.2 Million Worth of Cocaine While Looking for Sea Turtles

Authorities said a wildlife manager discovered nearly $1.2 million worth of cocaine while conducting a sea turtle nesting inspection on a Florida beach.

According to a news release, members of the Air Force’s 45th Security Forces Squadron confiscated roughly 30 kilograms of cocaine that washed up on the beach at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on May 19.

The drugs were believed to be worth $1.2 million by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Angy Chambers, a wildlife manager with the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, said that while she was doing a turtle nesting survey, she found a little “package wrapped tightly in plastic and tape” and “thought it could be drugs.”

“I immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron,” she said.

“While I was waiting for them to arrive, I drove a little further and noticed another package, and then another. At that point, I called SFS back and suggested they bring their UTV, or Utility Terrain Vehicle, as I counted at least 18 packages.”

“After securing the scene and collecting the contraband, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office narcotics agent performed a field test on one of the packages and verified that it was cocaine,” Flight Sergeant Joseph Parker said. “We then documented all 24 packages and placed them in evidence bags.”

Before being turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, the drugs were transported to a secure location, where Special Agent David Castro assessed them.

Though the exact origin of the drugs had not been determined, Castro stated that “maritime drug traffickers transport bulk shipments of controlled substances in bales made up of 25 ‘bricks,’ or kilograms of drugs,” and that “at times, the bale wrapping is destroyed during transit, resulting in bricks being lost at sea and eventually recovered along the United States’ coastline.”

Parker expressed gratitude to Chambers for discovering the drugs before they reached the streets.

Four Killed and Four Wounded in Shooting at a Home Gathering in Chicago’s South Side

Tuesday morning, four individuals were killed, and another four were injured in a shooting inside a household on Chicago’s South Side.

The gunshot occurred approximately 5:42 a.m., authorities said, following an altercation at a gathering at the residence in the Englewood area.

The shooting claimed the lives of three ladies and one male while wounding three men and one female, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said.

There are currently no suspects in connection with the shooting. The victims are the only witnesses, but authorities have not obtained testimonies from them as they continue to receive treatment for their injuries, he said.

He added that a two-year-old was also transported to the hospital for observation but was not shot.

Brown stated that a big capacity magazine from a gun was located inside the house, along with multiple casings. However, there seems to be no evidence of forceful entry, he stated. He said there had been several disturbance calls at the apartment where the shooting occurred, but the block has remained relatively calm in general.

While Chicago was reeling from yet another mass shooting in the Englewood area, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged the federal government to “stand up” and assist communities throughout the country in combating gun violence.

After expressing her sympathies to the families of the four persons slain and four more injured, Lightfoot stated that what Chicago requires is a collaboration with Washington to halt the flow of illicit firearms into the city. Though she did not elaborate, and it is unclear whether illegal guns were used in Tuesday’s massacre, she renewed her call for tighter gun control regulations nationwide, claiming that the city’s recent spike in violence is not unusual.

“This is a national problem, and it needs a national solution,” Lightfoot said during an unrelated news conference.

But when asked about how Chicago can safely reopen from the coronavirus pandemic with crime still present, the mayor balked and said, “The reality is our city is safe. And I stand by that.”

Massive Chemical Fire Continues at Rockton, Illinois Plant; Evacuation Order Issued

Tuesday, a large fire at a Chemtool company in Rockton, Illinois, continued to burn for a second day. The large chemical plant caught fire shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, and firefighters believe it may burn for several days.

The Rockton Fire Department has issued an evacuation order for all houses and businesses within a mile of Chemtool. Officials said Tuesday afternoon that it would last until at least Wednesday morning.

Concerned for the safety of adjacent residents, village officials evacuated individuals within a one-mile radius or approximately 150 residences. In addition, anyone within three miles of the fire is recommended to protect themselves by wearing a mask.

According to fire officials, potentially dangerous substances such as lead, nitrogen, and sulfuric acids fanned the flames, and merely extinguishing the fire with water is not an option.

“Oh yeah, they heard it,” said Melodie Chamberlain, whose family has been forced from their home. “My grandson woke up my daughter-in-law and said, ‘mom, you gotta wake up, there’s a vibration on our fireplace.”

Around mid-morning, firefighters doused the smoldering blaze with a special foam solution. The dense black smoke began to turn white, indicating they are making headway toward extinguishing the fire.

Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson announced Tuesday morning during a press conference that an industrial firefighter unit from Louisiana had come to assist with the firefighting efforts.

“They have actually dug trenches along the west side of Chemtool to act as a block of any type of residual material that might go into the Rock River,” Chief Wilson said.

By Tuesday evening, police claimed to have regained control, while hotspots remained.

“Things may flare up,” Chief Wilson said. “But we want to assure the public that it is under control.”

Additionally, industrial booms are being put to aid with the protection of the Rock River. By this afternoon, when the river is secure, the foam will be spread to the burned regions to extinguish any remaining fires.

Meanwhile, state officials say that while air testing has revealed no threat at ground level, they and the EPA are monitoring the situation.