Nine people were arrested by Woodway Department of Public Safety officers during a three-day undercover prostitution sting, including one man who assaulted an officer with a samurai sword, authorities said.
Officers conducted the undercover operation targeting prostitution and other offenses within the city of Woodway between Thursday and Sunday. In the operation, police arrested nine in the investigation that focused on prostitutes who advertised services online and people who responded to the ads, Woodway Public Department of Public Safety Director Yost Zakhary said.
“These types of activities lead to narcotics, lead to burglaries, lead to thefts, lead to forgeries, so we are are just trying to be proactive,” he said.
One notable arrest was that of Billy Ray Linkous, 27, of Axtell. After arranging to meet a prostitute at a Woodway location, Linkous was approached by officers and tried to flee, Zakhary said.
“He took off in his vehicle, which resulted in a short chase,” Zakhary said. “Shortly after that, in the 100 block of Taos Drive, he crashed into a parked vehicle.”
After the crash, Linkous got out of his car and confronted officers with a homemade shield with a metal plate and a samurai sword. Detective Sgt. Nolan Schaffer approached the sword-wielding Linkous, a first for the 13-year veteran officer.
“I was concerned for my safety and, as a supervisor, I was concerned for the safety of our other officers,” Schaffer said. “I wanted to keep him away from the general public and keep him away from the other officers with the weapon. But this was definitely a first for me.”
Zakhary said Linkous injured one officer with the sword before police were able to arrest him. The officer was not severely injured but did require medical attention and remains off-duty while he recovers.
Linkous was arrested on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated assault of a public servant, a third-degree felony charge of resisting arrest, a state-jail felony of evading detention, a Class A misdemeanor of evading on foot, a Class A misdemeanor of unlawful carrying of a weapon and a Class B misdemeanor of prostitution.
Others arrested during the sting included Eddie Lee, 23; Roberta Muniz, 30; Matthew Swisher, 29; and Stevan Tijerina, 25, all of Waco, arrested on Class B misdemeanors of prostitution. Shalla Love, 25, of Waco, was also arrested on a prostitution charge and resisting arrest.Cesar Salmeron-Arella, 37, of Hillsboro, was also arrested on prostitution and endangering a child charges when he agreed to meet an undercover officer and brought a child to the meeting location.
Jennifer Davey, 32, of Waco, was arrested on a Class B misdemeanor charge of prostitution and a Class A misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. Che Estrada, 43, of Waco, was arrested on a criminal trespassing warning.
Of those arrested, Linkous remained in McLennan County Jail on Monday with a bond listed at $132,500. Salmerson-Arella also remained in custody Monday with a bond listed at $6,000, and Davey remained jailed on a $3,000 bond and a $250,000 bond for a previous drug possession charge, according to jail records.
In May, Woodway officers arrested 10 in another three-day sting focused on narcotics and prostitution. Zakhary said officers may conduct similar operations in the future.
“I know we are not going to stop it, but we can sure push it out of Woodway,” Zakhary said.