Houston rabbi who was found after hours-long search charged with unlawful restraint, HPD says

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Rabbi who was found after hours-long search charged, HPD says
Ranon Teller was detained and remained in jail after police said he refused to give them his name.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In a sudden twist of events, the rabbi who was found after he was reported missing has been charged with unlawful restraint, police say.

On Monday evening, volunteers searched for hours trying to find 53-year-old Rabbi Ranon Teller, who, at the time, had been reportedly missing for more than 24 hours. Hundreds gathered at Congregation Brith Shalom in Bellaire to register, collect materials and then head out to search.

Teller was last seen at the Embassy Suites in the Galleria area at about 8 p.m. Sunday. At 9:09 p.m. Monday, Houston police generated a missing person flyer and less than an hour later, ABC13 was notified he had been found. At the time, details were not disclosed, but by Tuesday afternoon, Houston police told ABC13 the rabbi had been in jail.

According to police Teller, who is married, was arrested on Sunday, Aug. 22, at about 10:40 p.m. Officers responded to the 5400 block of Westheimer Road, where a woman said a man had grabbed her from behind and restrained her.

The man was detained and taken to jail, where police say he initially refused to give his name. Teller was eventually identified and charged with unlawful restraint and booked into jail. His bond for the misdemeanor was set at $100, but he did not have to put up any cash. Court records say he was released sometime on Monday, the day hundreds of people started mobilizing to search for him.

Congregation Brith Shalom declined to comment and neither Teller nor his attorney of record, Janet Kleban, responded to requests for comment.

Teller is expected in court on the misdemeanor next week.

For updates on this report, follow ABC13 reporter Jessica Willey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.