Metal Thieves Nearly Got Away From Asthmatic Dallas Cop -- But He Had Their Car Keys

Categories: Crime

Raymond Morgan.jpg
Raymond Morgan
At 4 a.m., an Officer Zane Murray with the Dallas Police Department spotted two men along Stemmons Freeway loading bridge-building materials -- $6,400 in large aluminum plates and overhang brackets belonging to Archer Western, a TxDOT contractor -- from a construction site into the bed of their 18-year old Dodge pickup.

Murray approached on foot and told the men, later identified by police as Raymond Earl Morgan, Jr., 32, and Michael Anthony Shelley, 33, to stop what they were doing and that they were under arrest. Instead, they dropped what they were doing and ran, Morgan north along Stemmons, Shelley into the pickup.

Shelley drove a half block and stopped the truck to let Morgan hop in. But Murray had kept close behind and managed to get to the driver's-side door first. Shelley realized this as the officer squirted pepper spray through the window, and he gunned his engine to get away. What he didn't realize, according to the police report, was that Morgan "had cut in front of Shelley's vehicle and was run over by [Shelley] in his panicked act of fleeing."

MichaelShelley.jpg
Michael Shelley
Morgan wasn't badly injured, hopping immediately to his feet and striking a fighter's pose. He refused orders to surrender and so Murray tackled him. It was as they struggled on the ground that Murray's asthma kicked in. It was a relatively mild attack, but enough that he had to back off, allowing Morgan to get briefly to his feet before Murray tacked him again.

At this point, Shelley returned in the truck, driving slowly toward them as they struggled on the ground. Murray unholstered his gun and aimed it at Shelley, who veered to the right at the last moment. He got out of the truck and demanded that Murray let his partner go.

Murray had different ideas, but Morgan had managed to free himself in the chaos and took off running. Shelley started to follow, then decided to get the truck only to find that Murray, whose worsening asthma had caused him to stay behind, had taken the keys.

"Just give me the keys!" Shelley screamed. He began taking the stolen metal from the pickup and placing it on the ground, a gesture that both cop and criminal could go their separate ways, no harm done. Realizing that Murray wasn't going to acquiesce, he turned and ran.

Murray's asthma kept him from following for more than a block, but both Shelley and Morgan were arrested within a few blocks by other officers. Both were taken to Dallas County jail on charges of theft and evading arrest.

Murray, one assumes, went and got his inhaler.

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18 comments
FEDUP
FEDUP

More damn ROPE needed, More monkey's are loose.

i

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Let's charge them with assaulting an officer and make it a trifecta for 3 time losers.  Hopefully they have some outstanding warrants.  Then I assume 15 years from now we'll see an article about the evil state giving these guys 20 years for just stealing metal.  We'll know the real story.  These guys will not be candidates for the Jean Valjean award of 2028.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Honestly, where would they get rid of stuff like this? Who is going to buy several large, obviously unused aluminum plates and overhang brackets? This is obviously not scrap, are there recyclers that would take this stuff, even?

roo_ster
roo_ster

Asthma + LEO occupation = good way to get killed.

OTOH, I recall some school resource officers fat enough to be effectively asthmatic.  But, they were not out patrolling the streets.

ptmoore2012
ptmoore2012

Glad the officer is O.K. A brave man to deal with these two thugs. They need to spend some quality time in prison. Maybe 20 years each. 

titusgroan
titusgroan

Shouldn't asthma kinda disqualify you from a physical job like being a police officer?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @TheCredibleHulk 

Seems like it would be quite simple to catch thieves like these, then, if we required recyclers to document large and/or unusual items. We already require them to document their copper wire intake due to rampant theft of that material.


 Make them liable for what they take in and less people will be motivated to steal things they can't peddle. Sucks for the recyclers a bit, but if they have been unscrupulous actors in the past, they're just going to have to suck it up. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown @TheCredibleHulk @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 


OK, maybe simple is the wrong way to phrase it, but they're doing it now with copper wire. All new wire is stamped with a code. Recyclers are required to document any large wire recovery - and they are monitored, presumably. They're already looking in the places they need to look, they could just expand their scope a bit to include this.


As to how you prove it's stolen? Well, I would think that large, unused, engineered aluminum structural elements would be pretty easy to identify. It's not like you're going to hide them in the bottom of a bag of crushed cans.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@TheCredibleHulk @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul If it were so simple it wouldn't happen. What would you do-- post a cop at every recycling place in town? And how do they prove it's stolen?

Your suggestion is nothing more than the ubiquitous and useless "sign in sheet" at every government building and office. 

russp
russp

@CogitoErgoSum @cantkeepthetruthdown @titusgroan 

Actually many years back when my dad was a deputy fire commissioner and there was a push to get women, Hispanics and Asians on the force; the standards had to be lowered for them to meet the requirements which also allowed previously unqualified males to join.  

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