Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

December 5, 2013

Constable Morris arrests two at gunpoint

Two citizens halt vehicle theft before Morris arrives with handcuffs


Mineral Wells Index

— By CLINT FOSTER



Precinct 5 Constable Gary Morris arrested two men at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon in connection with a stolen truck and a brief chase.

Morris told the Index Kristopher Day, 27, of Mineral Wells and Brandon Hall, 24, of Graford were looking to “hit a lick” that day – a term burglars and thieves use to refer to committing a crime for personal gain.

They happened to pull into the Coffee Creek RV Park on U.S. Highway 281, just north of Interstate 20, east of Santo, where they found a 2005 Ford F-250 parked on the back side of the office with the windows down.

“Obviously, they knew it would be unlocked, so they got out, scoped it out and then left,” Morris said.

The two returned to the park a little later in their Chrysler 300 and Hall dropped off Day, who got into the Ford truck and drove away, according to Morris.

The truck owner and his father saw this and immediately started pursuing the thief in another vehicle.

Morris said the two men chased Day south on 281 and down the service road where he doubled back on New Salem Road and headed north on 281 back to the RV park.

Once back at Coffee Creek, Morris said the truck owners, both of whom had their Concealed Handgun License, confronted Day at gunpoint.

Day had grabbed a weapon out of the F-250, but, instead of participating in the standoff, decided to drop the weapon and take off into the brush.

Day met back up with Hall, who Morris said had gotten turned around and confused after dropping off his friend and decided to pull his Chrysler over on the side of the road.

Day hopped in the car and the two headed north toward Mineral Wells.

Throughout this whole incident, Morris said dispatch was broadcasting information as it happened, including vehicle descriptions and directions of traffic.

With the help of this information, Morris intercepted Hall and Day on 281 at Dobbs Valley.

Morris said he had no problems pulling the two over.

He added once he had stopped them, he held one of the men at gunpoint and put the other on the ground while he waited for backup to arrive.

“When there is a weapon involved, that’s just protocol,” Morris said regarding holding the men at gunpoint. “I didn’t know if there were going to be more weapons or not.

“The initial information was he had a gun and the other two gentlemen involved had guns, so there were three guns involved.

“In those situations, for officer safety, you draw your weapon and demand hands.”

Morris said Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol officers, County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell and a game warden all arrived on the scene for backup.

Day and Hall were arrested for felony theft between $20,000 and $100,000, with Day incurring an additional felony charge for possession of a firearm.

Both men are currently in Palo Pinto County Jail awaiting trial.