A Morning News Delivery Man Was Beaten and Run Over During Early-Morning Carjacking

Categories: Crime

Alan Carter is one of a dying breed. The 53-year-old's a newspaper carrier who plies his trade every morning well before dawn, delivering some 400 copies of The Dallas Morning News to the diminishing segment of the population that still gets its news printed on paper. It's a lonely job and, like delivering pizzas, occasionally dangerous.

Carter learned that the hard way about 3 a.m. last Sunday as he began his route at an apartment complex in the 2500 block of John West Road. The police report describing the incident was minimal, saying that Carter had been carjacked in the parking lot, suffering possible broken ribs and road rash. WFAA's Teresa Woodard fleshed out the story last night, interviewing a still-recovering Carter at his Mesquite home.

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Alan Carter sat on his front porch and winced in pain each time he moved the wrong way. It took eight days for him to gain the strength to even sit up long enough to tell his story.

"There's a bruise here," he said, pointing to his left side, "and it crushed two ribs, then went across my arm here," he said, pointing to a large, purple-and-yellow bruise on his right arm.

He was still weak and winded. He had to catch is breath between thoughts.

"Two days I was in intensive care, because he punctured a lung, broke my ribs, lacerated my spleen," Carter said.

On the morning in question, Carter told Woodard that he'd left his 2003 Ford Ranger idling while he dropped papers on a couple of porches. When he returned, he saw a man trying to steal the truck.

What Carter didn't see, not until it was too late, was that the man had two accomplices. They hit him hard on the side of the head, knocked him to the ground, then hopped in the truck. Carter, a solid 240 pounds, jumped up on the driver's side to try to stop them but was soon thrown off and run over. Hence the road rash.

Carter is relieved to be alive, but he's a bit puzzled by why someone would steal a decade-old Ford Ranger only to abandon it in southern Dallas when it runs out of gas. Unless, of course, they enjoy the Morning News' reliably excellent Sunday paper a bit too much.

But stealing decade-old domestic pickups and SUVs seems to be the M.O. of whatever car thieves are targeting apartments along John West Road. The night after Carter was attacked, thieves attempted to steal a 1996 a Ford Explorer. Four days later and a couple of blocks away, they stole a 2002 Dodge Durango. So, their tastes aren't particularly refined.

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That dude looks like a roadie for the 2013 Black Sabbath tour.

RTGolden1 topcommenter

Where was Schutze at that time?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

The cars are stolen for a number of reasons, most of which involve other crimes such as burglaries.  The DPD doesn't really take auto thefts seriously.  The last statistic that I read was that less than 5% of all auto thefts result in an arrest.  The City and the DPD have this attitude that if you have some sort of insurance coverage for theft then there is no reason to investigate the crime, even if leads exist.  Their attitude is also that if you don't have some sort of insurance coverage then that is too bad as you should have had coverage.

The bottom line is that in Dallas there is very little risk associated with burglary, theft and other property crimes.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

If I had to deliver in dangerous neighborhoods I'd demand a suit of armor from the DMN.



You're absolutely correct about DPD's attitude towards property crimes. They only took reports over the phone the last time my truck and garage were broken into. Obviously they don't intend to catch anyone if they don't bother coming to the crime scene or gathering evidence. And they keep saying that crime is decreasing while they also change the way they count the incidents. As I understand it, if someone goes down a street and smashes windshields on cars belonging to ten different owners, it only counts as a single act of vandalism because it occured during a single crime spree.



What do you want them to do?  Assign a detective to every case of auto break-ins?  I don't think any large municipality has the resources for that type of police work


@MaxNoDifference @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

Alan is the DMN delivery man in my neighborhood, which extends along Ferguson and while some of it may be considered dangerous, you also need to know that the community has risen to take care of Alan during this time. I am on the email network of the neighborhood and have watched as my neighbors who know him visited him in the hospital, began delivering food, took up money, sent cards and rose to the occasion to care for this man. It has made me proud to be part of the neighborhood. My brother threw the Dallas Morning News  in Irving from the time he was 13 until he left for college -- From 1960 to 1965.  Seldom did they recognize what it took for my brother to get up every morning before school, rain or shine (with my mom driving when it was raining) to throw their paper right where they needed it.  He had people skip on him and curse him for not getting the paper where they wanted it. He went door to door to collect the money. I don't remember him ever telling me of the kind of kindness these people have shown.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@CornyDoggy @rzimmerman1  

When my truck was stolen, it was abandoned in the Midtown area, illegally parked.  A DPD officer on regular patrol drove by it daily for three weeks.

But the city has no problems buying scanning software so that they can find cars with unpaid parking tickets.

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