Local holiday festivities turn violent

November 24, 2010 9:41:12 PM PST
It's what you least expect to happen during your family's holiday festivities -- violence. But two people are in critical condition because of violence at family gatherings at two different homes.

The Thanksgiving feast planned for inside a little blue house in Texas City won't take place. Police say Tammy Newman, 40, and her boyfriend and owner of the house, Andrew Auzston, were highly intoxicated Tuesday night when an argument erupted over the main entree for Thanksgiving.

"It was unusual," said Brian Goetschius with the Texas City Police Department. "It was over a turkey."

The 71-year-old man was stabbed in the in stomach in the kitchen. Newman denies she attacked her boyfriend.

"I didn't," she said. "I've been crying and crying trying to figure out what to do. I don't know what to do, because I know I didn't stab him. I'm not that kind of person."

But it's not the first Thanksgiving dinner assault. Tuesday in Fort Bend County, investigators say Durell Watts, 25, shot his brother-in-law in the neck during a heated argument at a family Thanksgiving gathering.

"Human beings can do three things," said Dr. Richard Pesikoff with Baylor College of Medicine. "They can act. They can feel and they can think."

Dr. Pesikoff says alcohol and family parties during the holidays can be stressful. And knowing when not to act and let your feelings get in the way can keep you calm. If you know you'll see a family member your sometimes at odds with, attend the party with a plan.

"Because if things are not going well, the first thing is to make space between you and other people, whether it means going into the other room," said Dr. Pesikoff. "If it's bad enough, going home early."

Police say as alcohol sales increase over the holidays, so do family disturbances, turning what's suppose to be a feast of thanks into a crime scene.

Both victims remain hospitalized in critical condition. Texas City police say they plan to arrest Newman Thursday. As for the Fort Bend County suspect, Durell Watts, he remains on the run.


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