Waynesville, Missouri

From the Waynesville Daily Guide of November 16, 2007

Disabled man pulls gun, ends violent armed robbery spree

A disabled man defending himself with a firearm from people trying to break into his trailer appears to have stopped a crime spree early Thursday morning that several hours earlier sent two motel occupants to a Springfield hospital with head injuries.

According to Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department logs, at 3:34 a.m., deputies received a report that two men had kicked in the door of a room at the Fort Wood Inn at the Buckhorn exit of Interstate 44 and attacked those in the room with a baseball bat.

“They severely beat two individuals; one was immediately helicoptered to Springfield and the other was later flown to Springfield,” said Sheriff J.B. King, who due to the extent of the victims’ injuries didn’t have their names or many details of the incident.

The injuries were predominantly blunt force trauma and lacerations to the head, King said. The medical condition of the victims wasn’t immediately available but presumed to be serious.

“The deputy said he was worried about them, and that tells me about all I need to know,” King said.

After the deputy finished investigating the Fort Wood Inn incident, the sheriff’s office received a call from a man and his wife on Reporter Road who told deputies that they had caught a juvenile breaking into their mobile home about a mile north of Waynesville and were holding him at gunpoint. They said another man who had tried to break into their home had already fled.

King said the couple told him they were confronted in their home about 6 a.m. by a man in his 30s and a 16-year-old male. The older intruder pulled a handgun, but apparently didn’t anticipate that his intended victim — a disabled man in his 40s who takes medication for serious back pain — might not be an easy target.

“The homeowner pulled his weapon and the suspect fled,” King said. “The suspect had a pellet gun; the homeowner had a real gun.”

The deputy left the Fort Wood Inn and headed toward the Reporter Road address, but while driving on Highway T on his way to Reporter Road, at 6:09 a.m., he saw a small silver passenger car matching the description of a car that had fled the Fort Wood Inn.

“My deputy made a split-second decision to pursue the suspect vehicle on Highway T,” King said. “He made a snap decision in a critical incident and it will bear major fruit.”

The sheriff’s department had only one deputy on duty in the early morning hours, so sheriff’s dispatchers called Waynesville police to assist with securing the juvenile being held at gunpoint by the homeowner; King responded from his home, took custody of the juvenile from Waynesville police, and transported him to the county jail where he awaits filing of charges.

King said the homeowner showed him a baseball bat left by the juvenile in the living room of the trailer on Reporter Road; the deputy found a pellet gun after stopping the car on Highway T, along with a laptop computer believed to have been stolen from the Fort Wood Inn.



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