Father of 12-year-old victim in Fort Worth assault speaks
The father of a 12-year-old girl victimized in a brutal assault now lives where his daughter lives — at a hospital.
One of the police detectives working on the case, Pat Henz, said that Twizere Bahinga goes to work and then spends almost every night at an undisclosed hospital where his daughter awaits a heart transplant.
“My child is in the hospital in very bad condition,” Bahinga said. “Her heart and her lungs are in very bad condition.”
Bahinga, through a translator, said he is asking for prayers for his family and any assistance the community might provide.
The girl has been able to say very little to police or to her family about the April 19 attack that disabled her while she was walking to her school bus at Calmont Avenue and Laredo Drive in the Las Vegas Trial neighborhood of west Fort Worth, according to authorities.
“A bad guy came to my daughter and attacked her,” Bahinga said. “He touched my daughter and said he needed help. My daughter said she was going to school and what help do you need. He caught her by the arm and dragged her down to the ground and choked her.”
On Wednesday, the man police accused of carrying out that attack, Terry Wayne King II, was in an Oklahoma jail cell.
King, 36, is being held on fugitive charges and bond has not been set, according to Oklahoma authorities. King, who has lived in Fort Worth in recent years, is facing a charge of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury and if convicted could serve life in prison.
Bahinga, who said he immigrated to the United States less than two years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo with his wife, his daughter and five sons, finally feels some semblance of safety.
“The man who tried to kill my little girl, they have him now,” Bahinga declared during a news conference at Fort Worth’s police training center on Wednesday afternoon.
The injuries to her heart were caused directly by the assault, according to Sgt. Chris Britt, Fort Worth police spokesman. Before she was attacked, the girl was a healthy 12-year-old who resisted her attacker, Britt said. The girl is awake and alert, but police have not been able to conduct an extensive interview with her.
“And that will happen. She doesn’t need to relive that right now, but when she’s better — and we do anticipate her getting better — we’ll go down that road,” Britt said.
Meanwhile, police said they wondered if there were other potential victims, and encouraged them to come forward.
King has an extensive criminal history in more than one state, and was employed as a truck driver, Henz said. Police say they believe King may have moved around a lot and might have committed crimes in other locations. Police want to talk to any potential victims, Henz said.
“That is our concern,” Henz said. “He is a truck driver. That certainly brings out a concern as to what other crimes has he done.”
Records with the Tarrant County district clerk’s office list misdemeanor charges in Tarrant County for King going back to 2001. Those arrests include theft and vehicle burglary charges.
The records also show a parole violation that arose from a 2014 misdemeanor assault against a family member. King was sentenced to 40 days in jail but given deferred adjudication probation in that case.
King’s probation was revoked in 2015, but it is unclear why based on the available record.
Police don’t know why King allegedly attacked the girl. He doesn’t know her or her family, they said. She was not sexually assaulted nor is there any indication the attack was gang-related or racially motivated, police said.
The girl had left her home just after 6:30 a.m. to walk to the school bus stop at Calmont and Laredo. The bus driver called 911 shortly before 7 a.m. saying a student had stepped onto the bus and was bleeding.
School officials at the time said she was approached by a man who asked her for help, and that she fought him off. She attends the International Newcomer Academy.
After King’s arrest, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said, “We are extremely grateful to the persistence and dedication of all the law enforcement professionals who helped bring this senseless and tragic event to this point.
“Our hearts and prayers remain with the family and the young student as they face a long road of recovery,” he added.
Investigators were able to connect King with the assault of an adult in Fort Worth that occurred in January, which led them to the white 2001 Mazda Tribute that King was driving in Fort Worth.
Henz credited Detective Amelia Heise with linking the earlier assault report to King’s vehicle, which led to the discovery of the license plate number of that vehicle, which gave them King’s location.
The identification of that vehicle led detectives to King in Oklahoma City, according to Heise. Once King was tracked to a certain area, Fort Worth police alerted agents with the U.S. Marshals Service and who arrested him, police said.
King is believed to have lived at a Fort Worth apartment during the time of the assault, but it was unknown where he was living at the time of his arrest, according to police.
Several citizens called in tips during this investigation, Henz said. Those leads were invaluable in helping weed out potential suspects, Henz said.
“This arrest is the result of hours and hours of tedious police work,” Henz said.