Attempted robbery, hit-and-run outside local church

Staff photo.

By Joey McWilliams

DURANT – A Durant man is recovering after being hit by a truck leaving the scene of an alleged attempted robbery on Wednesday.

News presented by First United Bank.

Billy Fraze said he suspected the driver of a flatbed pickup pulling out of the parking lot at Abundant Life Texoma had been intending to steal his trailer. He was struck by the driver’s side mirror of the truck as he stepped out into the road on Waco Street to try to deter the vehicle from leaving the scene.

He avoided a more direct collision with the truck, but injured his leg falling away from the truck as it fled the area.

Chuck Barrineau, pastor of Abundant Life Texoma, said he had briefly left the church and noticed that something was not right when he came back.

“I took the church van to pick my daughter up from school,” Barrineau said. “The van was parked in front of the trailer we had used for a float the night before (in the Christmas parade).

“I was gone for maybe 25 minutes to pick her up and come back. And when I pulled up, there was a white flatbed Dodge truck backing under the trailer. There was a female outside of the truck helping, waving the guy back to help him line it up. I didn’t recognize her right off the bat, so I stopped the van in the road on Waco Street to see if I recognized her as someone who should be picking up the van and I didn’t.

“And as soon as I stopped and looked at her, she looked down very quickly and jumped in the truck, at which time I realized what they were doing, so I pulled the van around and blocked their way, so they couldn’t just pull straight out.”

Barrineau said by that time he had Fraze on the phone and was asking him if he had called someone out to pick up the trailer and the response was no. Fraze, who lives across the street from the church property came out of his house and met Barrineau in the street

“We both met in the road as the guy was pulling out,” Barrineau said. “And he started waving at the guy, and when he did, the guys gunned it and swerved to hit him. He hit him with the front edge of the truck.

“As he was jumping back, in the process he threw his arm up to block the mirror, which was coming right at him, and when he did, his arm broke the mirror off.

“The guy gunned it down to the end of Waco and took a left north onto Washington. And from there, of course, I don’t know.”

Fraze said he came outside when he received the call from Barrineau.

“I came out the front door, and the guy was coming around the church parking lot and into the road. I went out to stop him and he tried to run me down.

“Then I stepped back and threw my arm up in front of my face to keep from getting hit in the face by the rearview mirror. The mirror hit my arm, which caused me fall back and I ended up hurting my leg when I fell back.

“I’m doing better now. My leg’s healing and I’m doing better.”

Fraze said he had a good description of the vehicle.

“The truck was a Dodge pickup with a red, white and blue stripe on the side, which started down at the fender well and came up and flared out on the side of the truck. It was a flatbed, just a single cab Dodge.”

Barrineau called 911 and a Durant officer arrived quickly.

“The police arrived about five minutes after I called. The policeman actually passed the truck on the road, remembered seeing the truck, but got caught up in school traffic up here and couldn’t get turned around in time.”

The police report has not yet been released.

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