An Amarillo man has been identified as a suspect in a home invasion in which suspects posed as Nevada gaming officials and tackled a woman inside, police said.
The man and a woman identified themselves to the victim as Nevada Gaming Commission officials, and told her they had an arrest warrant for her during the encounter on July 16 in the Woodhaven neighborhood in east Fort Worth.
But the crime was thwarted when two large dogs, Butch and Benny, chased the suspects away from the home.
Police identified one of the suspects as Souksavanh Phansana, 42. He was arrested last week in Haltom City during a traffic stop and faces a charge of burglary of a habitation. A woman was with him, but she was released. His accomplice has not been arrested.
Initially, Phansana was taken into custody on warrants out of Decatur, Haltom City police said. Authorities later discovered the car he was driving was stolen from Amarillo.
The Fort Worth home invasion occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on July 16 just minutes after the 66-year-old woman arrived at the residence, where she’s employed by a Fort Worth couple as a personal assistant.
The woman told police she had parked her car in the driveway, walked into the home and stood in a hallway door that led into the garage.
“I saw this man and at first I think it’s a salesman,” said the woman, who agreed to talk to the Star-Telegram but asked that her name not be used for fear of retaliation from the suspects. “He says he’s from the Nevada Gaming Commission and he has a warrant for my arrest.”
The homeowner sells slot machines to casinos around the world, police said. He was not at home that afternoon.
The suspected imposter grabbed her wrist and she began to struggle with him.
“I just started fighting and screaming,” the woman said. “This other woman joined the man as they tried to handcuff me. I saw a badge on the man, but I still fought them.”
The woman said she was thrown to the floor.
That’s when Benny, a black Rottweiler, and Butch, a brown Labrador, arrived and took action. The dogs attacked the man, who yelled at his accomplice to run.
The suspects sprinted to a car, jumped in and drove away.
Fort Worth police later released home surveillance photos of the suspects.
Phansana remained free Thursday after posting $1,500 bail.
In addition to the burglar charge, he was charged Friday with unauthorized use of a vehicle related to the Amarillo case, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.