Posted on Wed, Sep. 03, 2008
Police: Blue Mound home invasion 'very overt, very crazy'
By BILL MILLER
An overnight crime spree described by one officer as "very overt, very crazy" resulted in the death of one robber and the wounding on another in Blue Mound, police said.
Dakota Scott Benoit, 20, of Richland Hills was fatally wounded at about 12:23 a.m. after a resident in the 600 block of Globe Street wrestled a shotgun away during a fight with the robbers.
John Garland Pierson, 25, of Haltom City was in critical condition and police custody at the hospital.
The two men had kicked in the door of the home where two children, ages 5 and 12, were sleeping, said Blue Mound Lt. Thomas Cain.
They were met by the homeowner's wife who shoved the muzzle of the sawed-off shotgun away from her face, Cain said. Her husband immediately joined the fray.
"Just think if you're a mother and you have your children," Cain said. "You're going to fight like the devil, especially if you get a shotgun in your face.
"They took care of business."
"SNATCH AND GRAB AND GO"
Public records show that Benoit and Pierson both have extensive criminal histories.
The Blue Mound incident was the second home invasion they tried to pull off late Tuesday and early Wednesday, investigators said.
The first one was reported at 11:11 p.m. at 2633 Calico Rock Drive in Fort Worth, about a mile east of the home in Blue Mound, according to police reports.
Cain and Lt. Paul Henderson, Fort Worth police spokesman, said they didn't know how the robbers chose which houses to hit.
Perhaps, Cain said, they were "crimes of opportunity."
"Just snatch and grab and go," he said.
In the first incident, the gun-wielding men entered the home on Calico Rock Drive through an open garage door and went to a bedroom where they confronted the 38-year-old homeowner and his wife, Henderson said.
They demanded valuables, Henderson said.
The homeowner, Henderson said, is a participant in the police department's Code Blue crime watch program, and the gunmen took his police radio.
They also got a laptop, a wallet, a jewelry box, and the family's van -- a red Honda Odyssey, Henderson said.
"Children were inside the house asleep and were not harmed," Henderson said. "There were no reported injuries during this robbery."
DEATH BY BUCKSHOT
The suspects took the loot and drove the family's red van to the home in Blue Mound, police said. They kicked in the front door at about 12:23 p.m.
"And the fight was on," Cain said.
The husband came to help his wife and struggled to free a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun away from one of the robbers, Cain said.
The weapon's barrel, he added, had been illegally chopped down to 17 inches.
"One guy had a handgun and was shooting it," Cain said. "He said they were going to kill them. Then the husband got the shotgun away."
He fired once, and the single blast of buckshot struck both robbers, Cain said.
Both men ran, but the one later identified as Benoit came back to fight again.
"That's when they dispatched him," Cain said.
Benoit staggered across the street, Cain said, and collapsed on the curb.
Pierson, according to Henderson, ran to the office complex for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, 2600 Lou Menk Drive in Fort Worth, about a mile north of the home on Globe.
Railroad police found him trying to clean up in a company fountain, Henderson said.
Pierson was turned over to Fort Worth police and was then taken to John Peter Smith Hospital where he was in critical condition Wednesday, Henderson said.
Cain said he was preparing an arrest warrant for Pierson on a charge of burglary of habitation with intent to commit another felony.
Henderson speculated that the homeowner probably won't face charges for killing Benoit, although it is common for a grand jury to review such a case.
Tarrant County records show Pierson has nine convictions dating back to 2000 on drug charges, theft, assault and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
He was most recently sentenced to 45 days in jail on July 17 on a misdemeanor conviction of possession of marijuana, records show.
Benoit was sentenced to three years deferred adjudication probation in May 2007 on two charges of possession of a controlled substance, one out of Haltom City and the other out of Euless.
Tarrant County court records show he also had a misdemeanor conviction for criminal trespassing.
Cain said he couldn't explain why Benoit, having been hit once with buckshot, would come back to fight some more.
"A person in (his) right mind wouldn't do that," Cain said. "This (was) very overt, very crazy.
"It seems like they weren't in their full faculties."
Staff Writer Deanna Boyd contributed to this report.