RICHLAND HILLS (CBDFW.COM) – Police have arrested a man in connection to the aggravated robbery of a disabled veteran in Richland Hills.
The attack happened January 15, just before 6:30 a.m. at the Shell gas station at 7301 Airport Freeway.
The victim, Allan Huddleston, 69, said he goes there every morning to buy a cup of coffee and a newspaper.
But on that morning, he was robbed and dragged 20 feet. Huddleston’s leg was broken in the assault.
“He got in the truck immediately and tried to drive off,” said Huddleston. “When he tried to drive off, I’ve got the keys. I reach into my truck and I put him in a head lock and I drag him out of my truck.”
The fight continued on the ground until the thief, identified as Gary Lynn Smith of Fort Worth, overpowered Huddleston, taking the keys. Huddleston was still trying to stop the carjacker as he drove off.
“When he drove off, of course, I went down… almost got run over,” he said.
Smith allegedly made off with $360 in cash Huddleston was going to use to pay bills, as well his IDs and Social Security card.
“He’s done this before, no doubt in my mind, and he’ll do it again,” said Huddleston.
Huddleston’s car was later recovered in a nearby city.
After police struggled to identify Smith, they issued a press release asking for the public’s assistance in the case. Several television, radio, and newspaper stations broadcasted the story.
Three 3 months later police received notification from Crime Stoppers, an anonymous crime tip hotline service, that a received tip identified the suspect. Richland Hills Police Investigators followed up on the lead, which resulted in obtaining a warrant for the arrest of Smith.
They arrested him on Monday.
He has additional pending charges of evading arrest.
Police said surveillance video showed Smith asking other people here for money or cigarettes before the attack.