Suspect who shot police dog identified


Alan Lance Alverson

Alan Lance Alverson

 

The man who tried to evade police by running into a wooded area in southern Montague County, and who shot and killed a K-9 officer from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, has been identified as Alan Lance Alverson, 45, of Granbury, according to Wise County Sheriff David Walker. After Alverson opened fire on the dog and officers, five officers returned fire, killing Alverson. The incident happened around mid-afternoon Wednesday near Sunset. Walker said Alverson had warrants for violation of probation for assault out of Wise County and possession of a controlled substance 4-200 grams out of Tarrant County. According to information provided on the Wise County Jail database, Alverson is a former Alvord resident.

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Wise County K-9 killed in the line of duty


RealPepper

 

A Wise County Sheriff’s Office K-9 was shot and killed in the line of duty Wednesday afternoon in Montague County. Sheriff David Walker said his officers were assisting Montague County Sheriff’s Office in a pursuit when Pepper, one of the department’s two dogs, was shot by the suspect.

Walker said Montague County sheriff’s deputies and Bowie police officers tried to stop a man they knew had warrants. He fled and there was a pursuit that ended in the area of Pickett Run Road and Aujla Road near Sunset. The suspect fled into a nearby wooded area, and Pepper, a tracking dog, was used to find the suspect hiding under a pile of leaves.

Walker said the suspect opened fire on the dog and officers. Officers returned fire and killed the suspect, a 44-year-old male. Walker said he has not yet been positively identified.

The sheriff said Pepper saved the life of at least five officers. No other officers were injured.

The Department of Public Safety also assisted in the pursuit.

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Welding leads to barn/grass fire


Chico fire1 1.28.15

A fire that started in a barn north of Chico Wednesday caused major damage and minor injuries to the homeowner. The Chico fire department was dispatched to the barn fire around 10:45 a.m. at 424 County Road 1650, off Texas 101. Homeowner Will Robinson was welding inside the barn when hay nearby ignited. As Robinson was trying to extinguish the flames, fire spread through the barn wall and started a grass fire. That fire in turn ignited round bales of hay on a flatbed trailer. Robinson was treated by Wise County EMS at the scene for minor burns to his hand. Bridgeport and Alvord fire departments assisted with the blaze.

 

 

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2 hurt in 81/287 wreck near Decatur


IMG_8289

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

A chain reaction wreck around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday sent two people to area hospitals. Department of Public Safety Trooper Adam Lawson said a pickup was northbound on U.S. 81/287 when the driver came over a hill near the crossover at County Road 4428 south of Decatur and encountered traffic that was stopped due to traffic merging into one lane for a construction zone. The pickup rear ended another pickup, causing extensive damage to the second vehicle. The impact also pushed the second pickup into a third vehicle. The passenger in the second truck was flown to a Metroplex hospital, and the driver was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. Both victims were female, although their names were not available at the accident scene. All northbound traffic was shut down for about 45 minutes.

 

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Accident victims identified


Drivers who died in two separate one-car accidents Friday night and early Saturday morning have been identified. The first driver, Jerry Easterwood, 35, of Springtown, died on Farm Road 718 in Newark at 8:49 p.m. Friday. Easterwood’s 1994 Pontiac Firebird was clocked at a speed of close to 140 miles per hour by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jackson Bridgeman before he broke off pursuit. Bridgeman said he lost sight of the driver and went all the way north to S.H. 114 looking for him. In the meantime, a resident who lives along FM 718 reported hearing a loud bang. Responders found Easterswood’s car had crashed through a gate, rolled several times and landed on its top in a field on the west side of the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene. DPS spokesman Lonny Haschel said Easterwood was not wearing a seatbelt. The investigation remains open awaiting autopsy results. The second accident occurred around 1 a.m. on U.S. 287 north of Alvord. That driver, 76-year-old Dennis Ward of Wichita, Kan. was southbound in a 1997 Dodge minivan when a witness said he left the roadway to the right, struck the culvert at the Hot Skillet restaurant and continued straight ahead, striking a tree. Ward was also pronounced dead at the scene. That accident is also under investigation, pending autopsy results.

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Two die in separate one-car accidents


After a one-car rollover on Farm Road 718 in Newark killed one person just before 9 Friday evening, another one-car accident claimed a life on U.S. 287 north of Alvord around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Trooper Jackson Bridgeman said a car left the southbound roadway near the Hot Skillet restaurant and hit a tree, killing the driver, who was the lone occupant. DPS spokesman Lonnie Haschel said more details would be available Saturday afternoon.

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Rollover kills 1 on Farm Road 718 in Newark


Newark firefighters wait for the Justice of the Peace to arrive at the scene of a fatal one-car rollover Friday night off Farm Road 718. Joe Duty/Messenger

Newark firefighters wait for the Justice of the Peace to arrive at the scene of a fatal one-car rollover Friday night off Farm Road 718. Joe Duty/Messenger

An unidentified driver died after running his car off Farm Road 718 south of State Highway 114 just before 9 p.m. Friday. Trooper Jackson Bridgeman of the Texas Department of Public Safety said he was southbound when a car passed him, heading north at a high rate of speed. Bridgeman turned on his flashers and turned around to pursue, and the driver saw him and hit the gas. “I checked his speed all the way up to right at 140 on my radar unit,” he said. “He was so far ahead of me I never saw him come off the road.” Bridgeman said he continued north to U.S. 287 before cancelling the pursuit. About that time, a Newark area resident called in and said she had heard a loud bang behind her house that sounded like a car crash. Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and Medics, Newark firefighters and Boyd police returned to the scene and found a 1994 Pontiac Firebird on its roof in a field just west of Farm Road 718. The car had gone into a skid, crashed through a gate and rolled out into a vacant field. The driver was still inside but was dead at the scene. A wrecker arrived just before 10 p.m. as responders awaited the Justice of the Peace.

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Bridgeport man found


According to the Bridgeport Police Department Facebook page, Benisio Gonzales Davila, 84, was found in Abilene, canceling the Silver Alert. This is the second time in 12 months that a Silver Alert has been issued for Davila. He was also reported missing in March 2014.

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Bridgeport PD issues Silver Alert


 

Benisio Gonzales   Veh

The Bridgeport Police Department has issued a Silver Alert for Benisio Gonzales Davila. The 84-year-old is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has grey hair, brown eyes and was last seen about 3:30 p.m. today in Bridgeport. He was wearing a grey knit sweater, brown jacket and jeans. Gonzales is driving a white, 2008 Toyota Matrix with Texas license plate CK5P811. Law enforcement officials believe his disappearance poses a credible threat to his own health and safety. If you have information regarding this missing senior citizen, call the Bridgeport Police Department at 940-683-3430.

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Breaking News: Man injured after truck hits tractor


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
An Alvord man was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by ambulance after his tractor was struck by a truck on U.S. 81/287 south of Alvord shortly after 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
Marvin Porter, 55, was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries after he hit the dash of the tractor following the collision.
“He had a lot of preexisting conditions, and it’s unclear if he aggravated those and to what extent,” said Department of Public Safety Trooper Zeb Siebeneck.
Porter was injured in an April 2014 wreck on U.S. 81/287 in Decatur when a fuel tank from an 18-wheeler broke free and struck his pickup.
Porter’s friend Michael White, who was on the scene after Thursday’s accident, said Porter had his back fused together after that accident and later a knee surgery.
“I hope his back is not messed up again,” White said.
Porter was driving his tractor on the southbound shoulder of U.S. 81/287, according to Siebeneck. A pickup driven by Tuxie Ballard, 25, of New Mexico hit the tractor in the rear ripping off the left back tire. Ballard’s truck came to rest in the median.
“Ballard was in the outside lane going 75 in a 75, and Porter was on the shoulder,” Siebeneck said. “[Ballard] dropped his phone and swerved and hit the tractor.”
Ballard said his phone was on the console and fell.
“I looked down for a second, and by the time I looked up, I kissed his rear end,” Ballard said.

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Motorcyclist taken to hospital after wreck


wreckA motorcyclist was transported to Denton Regional Medical Center after a collision with a tractor-trailer on U.S. 380 east of Decatur Thursday evening.
Antonio Trejo, 28, of Decatur was taken by ambulance to the Denton Hospital after the wreck that occurred shortly after 6 p.m.
Trejo’s bike hit the back right end of the tractor-trailer driven by Johnny Simmons, 51, of Bridgeport.

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Fire damages mobile home at Wildwood


Fire damaged a mobile home at Wildwood Naturist’s Resort Monday afternoon.
But the quick work and response by Decatur firefighters stopped the fire, which started near the back porch, from destroying the trailer on Private Road 1170.
“The Decatur Fire Department did a fantastic job and stopped it quickly,” said Wise County Assistant Fire Marshal J.C. Travis. “They’ll have to replace some sheet rock and wiring but that’s the extent of the damage.”
The fire was called in shortly after 5 p.m. Travis said the origin of the fire was a heat lamp in a doghouse that apparently was knocked over.
“It spread up the back porch and into the attic space,” Travis said.
Decatur Fire Chief Michael Richardson said a witness stated they saw smoke from the back porch and started spraying the fire with a garden hose.
“When [firefighters] got here there was a lot of fire showing around the back door,” Richardson said. “It started running through the attic but they were able to get it knocked down.”

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Fire destroys home near Park Springs


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com

FullSizeRender
On a brutally cold morning, a man lost his home and three dogs in a fire near the Wise and Montague county line Sunday.

Alvord, Chico and Crafton firefighters battled the blaze off County Road 1792 near Park Springs with temperatures in the mid 20s and the wind chill in the low teens.

“I’ve lost everything I own in the world,” said homeowner Charles Montgomery. “I didn’t even get my glasses. Within seconds, the whole house was full of smoke.”

Montgomery, who lived in the 1,200-square-foot residence built in 1903 for more than 20 years, said the fire started in the back room where he had a fire going in a wood-burning stove shortly before 9 a.m.

“I was in the living room. I heard it popping and went to the back of the house,” Montgomery said. “The house filled with black smoke within seconds.

“It was an old wood house and I found out it was a pure tinderbox.”

Seven of Montgomery’s 10 chiweenies made it out of the house.

“Three are not here,” said Montgomery sitting in his truck. “The smoke must have got them.”

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the Red Cross was called to help Montgomery.

“He lost everything and didn’t have insurance,” Beard said.

Beard confirmed Montgomery’s thoughts on the origin of the fire.

“It definitely was from the wood-burning stove in the back,” Beard said. “It started in the attic space. Once it got up there especially with the north wind, it took off. The wind just fueled it.”

Winds were gusting out of the northwest to 22 mph at the Decatur Municipal Airport at the time of the blaze.

At 12:30 p.m., firefighters remained on scene overhauling the property.

“They will do a little more overhaul. It’ll smolder the rest of the day,” Beard said.

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Breaking: Mobile home catches fire on County Road 2320


The Decatur, Greenwood Slidell and Krum fire departments responded to a mobile home fire in the 2000 block of County Road 2320 in Decatur after the mobile home became engulfed in flames around 2:30 a.m Friday.

The residents of the mobile home were not on the property at the time of the fire, which destroyed the entire home and was not put out until around 3:20 a.m.

Deputy Wise County Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Greenwood Slidell firefighters extinguish the remains of a mobile home fire this morning on County Road 2320. Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

Greenwood Slidell firefighters extinguish the remains of a mobile home fire Friday morning on County Road 2320. Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

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Breaking: Two suspects apprehended in Bridgeport grocery store robbery


Update: According to a statement Bridgeport Assistant Chief Steve Stanford released on the Bridgeport Police Department’s Facebook page Christmas morning, two other people were arrested in addition to the two robbery suspects. During the search of the suspects’ hideout on Crittendon Street, “various narcotics” were also seized along with the firearms that are believed to have been used in the robbery.
“Thanks to our partnership with the community and some great police work, these suspects will be spending their Christmas morning in the Wise County Jail. Merry Christmas!” Stanford wrote.

Two males who are believed to have robbed the West Side Grocery store and gas station in Bridgeport at gunpoint Christmas Eve have been apprehended by Bridgeport police.

Police Chief Randy Singleton said that around 10 p.m. Wednesday, two masked men entered the store brandishing handguns and stole the store’s cash register and a case of beer. 

“All they said was, ‘Give us the money!’ over and over,” Singleton said, recounting footage of the incident he saw from the store’s security footage.

“One suspect robbed the cashier, who slowly took the cash tray out of the register and put it on the counter, while the other suspect stole the beer and kept a lookout,” Singleton said.

The two suspects fled the scene on foot, but were found hiding out behind a house in the 700 block of Crittendon Street less than an hour later.

“I’m assuming they knew the people who lived [at that house], but it’s not for certain yet,” Singleton said. “We’re treating that house as another crime scene for now.”

“At least one gun and some other evidence of the crime” was found where the suspects were hiding, Singleton said.

The two suspects’ names are not available at this time.

The three cashiers who were working at the store at the time of the robbery declined to comment on the incident.

This story is ongoing. Check back with the Messenger for more details.

This snapshot of footage from the West Side Grocery's security camera shows the two men who robbed the store. The first suspect to enter robbed the cashier, while the second one stole the beer, according to Police Chief Randy Singleton. Photo courtesy of the West Side Grocery store.

This snapshot of footage from the West Side Grocery’s security camera shows the two men who robbed the store.
The first suspect to enter robbed the cashier, while the second one stole the beer, according to Police Chief Randy Singleton.
Photo courtesy of the West Side Grocery store.

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Breaking News: FM 51 South wreck slows traffic for an hour


Traffic slowed down at the intersection of Farm to Market Road 51 South and County Road 3170 from 6 p.m. to around 7 p.m. tonight after a Toyota Camry struck an 18-wheeler trying to turn north onto FM 51.

Texas State Trooper Patrick Alonzo said the accident was likely caused by the Camry driver’s failure to drive without using headlights and that the Department of Public Safety would investigate further.

Only minor injuries were reported. The Camry driver, Kristol Read Rogers of Decatur, refused any medical treatment. The 18-wheeler’s driver, William Howard Grandon of Chico, reported no injuries.

Wise County medics, the Decatur Fire Department and Texas DPS were called to the accident, which was toned out around 6 p.m.

Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

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Head-on crash injures two on S.H. 114


A head-on collision at about 10:30 Friday morning injured two drivers and blocked traffic on S.H. 114, about two miles west of Boyd, for more than a half-hour. According to State Trooper Ralph Ray Wallace, Andrew Erickson, 26, of Arlington, was westbound in a Nissan Titan pickup when, for no apparent reason, he drifted over into the path of an eastbound Nissan Maxima driven by Karen Backus, 54, of Springtown. The collision flipped Erickson’s truck onto the south side of the roadway, while Backus’ car ended up on the north side. Backus was taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur and Erickson, who was more seriously injured, was taken to JPS Health System in Fort Worth, both by Wise County EMS. Highway traffic was backed up for more than a half-hour as responders from the Paradise and Boyd fire departments, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and Boyd police officers worked to clear the scene.

Firefighters retrieve an item from Karen Backus' car after it was hit head-on by a truck on S.H. 114 west of Boyd Friday morning.

Firefighters retrieve an item from Karen Backus’ car after it was hit head-on by a truck on S.H. 114 west of Boyd Friday morning.

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1 killed in fiery crash on U.S. 380


One person died in a fiery crash on U.S. 380 east of Decatur just before 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

DPS Trooper Adam Lawson said a passenger car was traveling westbound on 380, just west of the Highland Hills subdivision, when it left the roadway to the north and ran through a fence. He said it appears the car then veered back through the fence to the south and then went through the fence again to the north.

The car hit the edge of a ravine, went airborne, slammed into a tree and burst into flames. Lawson said the car was destroyed, and it was impossible to visually determine if the driver was male or female. There were no passengers in the car.

The crash occurred about a quarter mile away from where the vehicle first left the roadway. The accident is still under investigation, and more information will be posted as it’s available. Lawson was uncertain how long it would take to ID the driver.

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Names of wreck victims released


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The identities of the pickup driver and passenger in Friday night’s head-on collision on Farm Road 51 South have been released.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Adam Lawson said the driver was Lynis Parris of De Leon. Parris had minor injuries but was kept overnight at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, according to Lawson.

The trooper said Parris’ passenger was Clara Quesnot, also of De Leon. She’s listed in stable condition at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. She and Parris were injured when their pickup hit a Toyota Camry traveling northbound on 51 between Farm Roads 2123 and 2048. The Camry was a marked WBAP car.

WBAP released the name of its injured reporter — Alan Scaia — earlier in the day Saturday. News director Rick Hadley told the Messenger Saturday night that Scaia had been upgraded from critical to serious condition at JPS. Scaia, 33, lives in Fort Worth.

 

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Teen suffers head injury in crash


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Rhome teenager suffered a massive head injury in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 81/287 south of Decatur Saturday afternoon.

Darren Rowe, 18, and a friend had stopped in the 287 crossover, just south of County Road 4421, about 11:50 a.m. and were talking. A third vehicle approached the crossover and honked at the other two vehicles so it could get through.  Trooper Beau Bridgeman, with the Department of Public Safety, said Rowe pulled his Dodge Durango too far out and into the left lane of southbound 287.

Rowe’s vehicle was struck by a Straight Arrow Transport 18-wheeler. It was driven by Gerald Gordon, 44, of Centerfield, Utah, and he was hauling crushed cars. Gordon had two dogs in the truck with him, but neither he nor the animals were injured.

The 18-wheeler pushed the Durango across the southbound lanes of traffic, and both vehicles came to rest on the west side of the road. Rowe had been pushed to the back of the SUV. He was flown by Air Evac Lifeteam 68 to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Both southbound lanes of 287 were shut down for an hour, and traffic was backed up for miles. One lane was re-opened at 12:45 p.m.

 

 

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