Man claiming to have coronavirus ‘aggressively coughed’ on officers after he was caught at Native American burial site, TPWD says

Man had Baby Yoda glass pipe with ‘white crystals that looked like crystal meth’

San Marcos River Retreat (this is not the site of the burial ground). (CHASE FOUNTAIN, Chase Fountain, TPWD ©2015)

HAYS COUNTY, Texas – A man who was detained with his wife for allegedly digging at a Native American burial site in Hays County “aggressively coughed” on deputies and claimed to have coronavirus, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The man was found at the archeological site on private land on March 13 with a Baby Yoda glass pipe that had “white crystals that looked like crystal meth,” an official with TPWD confirmed to KSAT Thursday. The agency did not specify exactly where the incident occurred or the identity of the suspects.

An image from a cellphone game camera led a Hays County game warden to check the site where he allegedly found the couple, who were out on a date, in a “large hole previously dug by trespassers,” according to a news release.

“Before the warden could say anything, the man stood up immediately and said he wasn’t digging for arrowheads and hates diggers,” the news release states.

The couple was handcuffed and taken to opposite sides of the warden’s vehicle for questioning when the man admitted he had a pipe in his pocket “that he uses to smoke CBD oils.”

The warden noticed “small, clear and white crystals that looked like crystal meth” inside the pipe, which he placed on the hood before going to the rear of the vehicle to speak with the woman.

During the warden’s conversation with the woman, she said she “didn’t know the property was private, despite walking past multiple no-trespassing signs,” according to the news release.

When the warden returned to the front of the vehicle, the pipe was no longer on the hood. The man claimed he didn’t know where the pipe went but the news release states the warden found the pipe several feet in front of the vehicle “broken in half in the middle of a fresh footprint.”

The warden discovered four Native American artifacts and gardening gloves in the woman’s purse and a hand saw in “freshly disturbed dirt” at the burial site, according to the news release.

Officers with the San Marcos Police Department showed up to the scene and took the couple to Hays County Jail.

En route to the jail, the man said he had the coronavirus and “aggressively coughed” on the SMPD officers.

The couple were both charged with criminal trespass and Antiquities Code violations and the man was given additional charges of possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and harassment of a public servant, according to the news release.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.