A man attempted to abduct a woman at gunpoint in the parking of Brookshire's grocery store Monday night, but she fought off her would-be captor and escaped unharmed.
The Somervell County Sheriff's Department arrested the man, Alan Elton Light, 55, of Glen Rose and charged him with attempted aggravated kidnapping, a second-degree felony.
The victim, was shaken up but not hurt. She asked that her name not be revealed out of fear.
The suspect and the victim did not know each other, authorities said.
“This was a very scary deal that turned out well thanks to witnesses who helped out,” said Derrell McCravey, the department's chief deputy.
It was the first time such a random attempted abduction has taken place in Glen Rose, he added.
“We've not ever had one here and this hits us in the comfort level where we live,” McCravey said. “It's one of those things that could happen anywhere, anytime, any day.”
According to the sheriff's office and eyewitness accounts, here's what happened:
At about 7 p.m. Monday the woman had finished shopping at Brookshire's and was in her vehicle. Meanwhile, an eyewitness who knew the victim had noticed a man drive up in a red pickup truck and had been sitting there for some time.
The woman was preparing to leave when the man opened the driver's side door of her car.
He grabbed her by the arm and said, “You are going with me.”
“No, I'm not,” the woman responded.
Reached by phone today, the victim said she remembered seeing a report on Oprah Winfrey's show that urged women never to get in a car with a would-be abductor. The message was “If you get in the car, you're dead,” she recalled.
“So I decided there was no way I was going to get in his truck,” she said. “I made up my mind that I would die right there in the parking lot, but I wasn't going with him.”
The man waved a gun in her face and pulled her away from her car. She struggled with him and was able to break away and ran to the entrance of Brookshire’s. There she met Ren Blanks, owner of Ranch House Barbecue, coming out of the store.
The woman was yelling for help and saying that a man was trying to force her into his truck. Blanks managed to get the license plate number and description of the vehicle the suspect was driving.
The sheriff's department received a 911 call about the attempted abduction at 7:08 p.m., McCravey said.
At about 1 a.m. Tuesday investigators obtained a warrant signed by Judge Ronnie Webb, Justice of the Peace, Precinct One. At 2:30 a.m. officers arrested Light at a residence located at 4331 South Highway 56 in Somervell County.
Light was arraigned Tuesday afternoon by Webb and his bond was set at $150,000.00. He has not posted bond and is still incarcerated.
The sheriff's department was familiar with Light because of previous domestic disturbances, McCravey said.
“He recently was separated from his wife and was going through some financial hardships,” McCravey said. “But there was no indication he would do something like this. When his train went off the tracks, it ran completely off.”
Although the incident ended with no injuries, it underscores that even random acts of potential violence can and do occur in small towns and that people still need to be aware of their surroundings and the potential for crime.
"Please warn all your friends," the eyewitness said. "We just can't be too careful, even in Glen Rose."
The alert response by Blanks in getting the suspect's license number helped authorities respond quickly.
“We all need to be reminded from time to time to pay attention to the things around us,” McCravey added. “Folks paying attention helps us tremendously.”