TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Two Texarkana men sprang into action Saturday morning when they saw a man trying to pull an elderly woman from her vehicle out of her vehicle in the parking lot of a Walmart Neighborhood Market, according to Texarkana Texas Police.
“We want to say a huge THANK YOU to the two men who immediately intervened in this violent crime and helped protect an elderly woman – and probably saved her from serious injury. They’re heroes in our book!!!” TTPD said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
The men, Travis Frost and Brent Lawing, were able to restrain 49-year-old Brent Wohrer of Lancaster, Ohio, until TTPD officers were able to respond and take Wohrer into custody.
Fortunately, the woman who was attacked suffered only minor bruising and scrapes, and she is expected to make a complete recovery.
The rescue, and subsequent arrest, were the culmination of a bizarre series of events that began around 9:30 a.m. Saturday when police responded to reports of a theft at a convenience store on Richmond Road in Texarkana.
When officers arrived, the clerk at the store said a man had come into the store, asked for a pack of cigarettes and when he laid them on the counter, the man grabbed them, ran out the door, jumped into a black SUV and took off.
Police looked at surveillance video from the convenience store, and searched the area for the black SUV but were unable to locate it – or at least not until they found themselves in the parking lot of the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Richmond Road when they responded to the call about the attempted assault of the elderly woman.
And when they arrived, at Walmart, officers recognized the cigarette thief from the convenience store.
When some other officers went into the store to watch the surveillance video of the parking lot, they were able to see the whole event unfold. They watched as Wohrer got out of the black SUV and immediately got into an unoccupied pickup truck parked right next to it.
After several minutes, he could be seen walking toward the gas pumps and returning with a gas can shortly afterward. But unfortunately for the hapless would-be gas thief, the owner of the truck was in the store at the time and got a notification that one of her credit cards that she’d left in the car had just been used at Walmart.
Although Wohrer was able to complete the transaction, he couldn’t figure out how to use the gas can he’d just filled with stolen gas into his – as it turns out, stolen – SUV, so, police say, he apparently decided to try to steal the elderly woman’s car instead.
When the dust settled, police noticed Wohrer had one handcuff from a set on one wrist so tight that his wrist was bleeding and it appeared to be cutting off the circulation to his hand.
He told police that a law enforcement officer somewhere between Texarkana and Ohio tried to put the handcuffs on him four or five days earlier, but he managed to escape. After a doctor was finally able to safely remove the old handcuff from Wohrer’s arm and checked him out medically, police gave him a ride to the Bi-State Jail.
Wohrer, who was charged with robbery, burglary of a vehicle, credit card abuse and unauthorized use of a vehicle, is being held on a bond of $225,000.