Fort Worth police have arrested a truck driver who has lived in Fort Worth in the assault of a 12-year-old girl who was walking to her school bus in April.
Terry Wayne King II, 36, was arrested Tuesday morning in Oklahoma City by officials with the U.S. Marshal’s Service on suspicion of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. He is being held in Oklahoma City, according to Sgt. Chris Britt, Fort Worth police spokesman.
The girl, who was identified as being 13 when the attacked happened, was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center. She is still hospitalized with serious injuries, police said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
The girl’s father, who was at the news conference, said his daughter is struggling in the hospital and awaiting a new heart in hopes that a transplant operation can be performed.
Twizere Bahinga said his family immigrated to the United States less than two years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also has five sons.
“I am living at the hospital,” Bahinga said. “My child is in the hospital in very bad condition. Her heart and her lungs are in very bad condition.”
Bahinga, though a translator, said he is asking for prayers for his family and any assistance the community might provide.
The injuries to her heart were caused directly by the assault, according to Britt. 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 interview her extensively.
“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.
Police say they don’t know why King allegedly attacked the girl. He doesn’t know her or her family, they said. She was not sexually assaulted, 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 attended the International Newcomer Academy. Fort Worth schools 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 said.
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.
The identification of that vehicle led detectives to King in Oklahoma City, according to Detective Amelia Heise. Once King was tracked to a certain area, Fort Worth police alerted agents with the U.S. Marshals Service who arrested him, police said.
Several citizens called in tips during this investigation, said one of the investigators who helped work the case, Pat Henz. Those leads were invaluable in helping weed out certain suspects, Henz said.
Henz credited Heise with linking the earlier assault report made in January to King’s vehicle which led to the discovery of the license plate number to that vehicle which gave them King’s location.
King has an extensive criminal history in more than one state, and was employed as a truck driver, Henz said. Police say that King may have moved around a lot and might have committed crimes in other locales. 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 going back to 2001. Those arrests include misdemeanor theft and vehicle burglary charges and also a parole violation offense reported in 2014 that arose from a 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.