A Fort Worth teenager ran over a man he didn’t know at a city park and repeatedly stabbed him, an affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram says.
The victim was identified as Samuel Bailey, 54, of Fort Worth, who was pronounced dead at 11:35 p.m. Sunday at John Peter Smith Hospital. A ruling on his death has not been made pending autopsy results.
Garland Patton, 19, was arrested when he drove back to scene at Krauss-Baker Park, said an arrest warrant affidavit that was obtained Wednesday.
A patrol officer at the park saw the suspect drive past, Fort Worth homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said Wednesday. The officer stopped the vehicle about two streets away, he said.
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Detectives did not release a motive for the killing.
Authorities are not aware of any connection between the victim and suspect, Loughman said.
Bailey’s minister Barbara Christa said Wednesday, “It has been extremely shocking.” Bailey was a 16-year member of North Richland Hills Baptist Church, where Christa is a minister.
Bailey’s wife is “still in shock,” Christa said.
The affidavit gives this account:
▪ Two witnesses told police they were at a pavilion in the park, in the 3500 block of Park Lake Drive, on Sunday night when a man drove up and got out of a white Pontiac. He walked up to the pavilion, sat down, said nothing and later pulled out a knife.
▪ The witnesses became nervous and walked from the pavilion to get away from the man, who eventually got back in his car and drove away.
▪ The witnesses returned to the pavilion, but a few minutes later the suspect drove back and got out of his vehicle. By that time, Bailey was walking around in the park.
Police said some type of altercation occurred between Bailey and Patton.
According to the affidavit, Patton got in his car, jumped the curb and ran over Bailey. Patton stopped the car and got out, and the witnesses said he appeared to be beating Bailey. The witnesses got in their car and called 911.
Two other people at a residence later told detectives they heard what they thought was a car hitting a park bench. They drove to the park and asked Patton, who was standing over Bailey, if everything was OK.
Patton didn’t answer at first, but he later told them that everything was fine and that he was just trying to get his friend up, the witnesses told police.
Patton returned to his car and drove away, they told police.
At 1:08 a.m. Monday, as detectives investigated the killing, a patrol officer saw Patton in a white Pontiac driving around the park. The officer stopped him and saw blood on the driver’s door.
A piece of plastic from the front door was missing and it appeared to be the type of plastic found at the scene of the slaying.
Patton was arrested and taken to the Fort Worth police station, where a patrol officer saw blood on the bottom of Patton’s jeans.
At the station, Patton said he had had nothing to do with the killing and told detectives he was riding around early Monday because he couldn’t sleep. He said he drove to the park when he saw the police lights and was curious.
Patton was in the Mansfield Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $250,000.
Christa said Wednesday that Bailey joined the North Richland Hills church in 1999 and was a very active member.
An electrical worker, he was married in the church in 2003 and his wife, a nurse, later joined. The couple did not have any children, she said.
“They attended on a regular basis,” Christa said. “She’s the one who called me to tell me about what had happened to him.”
A graveside service for Bailey is scheduled for noon Thursday at Skyvue Memorial Gardens in Mansfield.
Staff Deanna Boyd contributed to this report.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763