The scars that Terence Pinkston showed jurors on Wednesday are visible more than a year after the collision that caused them.
Pinkston was hit from behind by a car on Feb. 15, 2014, as he took his morning walk about 7:30 a.m. on a sidewalk in the 2400 block of Ascension Boulevard in Arlington.
The blow sent him flying head first into a fence post.
At the hospital, “they peeled my skull back and ripped open my calf,” Pinkston, now 74, testified.
“I had four rib fractures, back fractures and a fractured tail bone. If I had hit that stucco wall an inch or two to the right, I would have hit steel. As it was, I hit plywood, which is a bit more forgiving,” he said.
Defendant Omar Bashir Mohammed, 26, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, injury to the elderly and leaving the scene of an accident.
Mohammed was arrested on Feb. 19, 2014, at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport after he boarded a plane headed for Jordan, said prosecutor Chris McGregor.
India Bailey said she got out of bed and ran out of her apartment to help as soon as she heard a loud thump and brakes squealing.
“It was evident to me he had been injured pretty severely,” Bailey said. “I could see the blood running down his forehead. There was a huge hole in the stucco column that seemed like it was caused by Mr. Pinkston’s head.”
Bailey’s then-boyfriend, William Komar, testified that he also heard the noise and called 911 before going downstairs to help.
Komar said he saw a dark, two-door vehicle stop momentarily, almost hit the fence and then back up to turn on to Brown Boulevard.
The car never returned, Komar said.
“At that point, he’s bleeding from the head, the mouth, his eye,” Komar said. “I thought this man was dead.”
Dr. Mark Tellez, a trauma surgeon at John Peter Smith Hospital, testified that the blood loss from the tear in his scalp could easily have killed Pinkston.
“It tore all the scalp and hair away from his skull,” Tellez said. “It was quite large, about a quarter of his scalp area.”
Jim Shaw, Mohammed’s attorney, acknowledged to jurors in his opening statement that Mohammed was the driver who hit Pinkston. But he panicked, left the scene and then sought the advice of two attorneys who did not know what to do, Shaw said. A third attorney told him that there were no warrants out for his arrest and it was OK for him to leave the country, Shaw said.
“The evidence will show that when he had this accident, he freaked out,” Shaw told the jury. “He didn’t commit a crime other than leaving the scene. The evidence will not rise to the level of aggravated assault.”
An anonymous tip led police to a blue Honda Civic at the Arlington home of Mohammed’s father. Glass fragments were found inside the car, the right side of the hood was dented and there was damage near the right front tire, according to police.
Police interviewed Mohammed’s father, who told them that his son lived with his wife at the Verandah apartments at Ascension Boulevard and Green Oaks Boulevard, a short distance from where Pinkston had been hit.
Security cameras at the complex showed Mohammed driving away in the Civic about a minute before Pinkston was hit, police have said.
Testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday in state District Judge Wayne Salvant’s court.
This story includes information from the Star-Telegram archives
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752