Prior to Sunday's incident and after his initial arrest in 1989, William Crum used his vehicle to threaten the lives of two 13-year-old boys in Somervell County.
GLEN ROSE - William Crum has been a menace to society long before the incident involving a motorcyclist in Granbury. There have been tens of thousands of views and comments on previous articles and Facebook posts pertaining to Sunday afternoon’s incident along that county road in Hood County where Crum swerved his white Mercury sedan into the left lane as a motorcyclist and his girlfriend attempted to illegally pass across a double-yellow line.
Comments have ranged from support for the bikers and their hopeful speedy recoveries, to spews of hatred for Crum and his actions, and even a large amount of recognition of the fact that Eric Sanders was in violation of a common roadway law.
However, as previously reported, this was not Crum’s first incident involving a vehicle he was driving and a fit of road rage. This exact incident has happened previously. The difference? Instead of a biker and his questionable decision to pass illegally, just over eight years ago, Crum’s targets were two 13-year-old boys. Only that time he was equipped with more than a vehicle.
Fisher Rinderknecht can easily and vividly recall the day that he and his friend, Brennon Cockerham, were driving a golf cart down County Road 323 in Somervell County when Crum not only confronted them, but threatened their lives, as well.
It was just after three in the afternoon on a sunny, spring March 24, 2007, when Rinderknecht and Cockerham set out on a ride in the Rinderknecht’s electric golf cart. According to Fisher, the cart made little-to-no noise, as there was no combustible engine to do so. The cart ran off of a rechargeable battery, the same as at most golf courses around the world.
As the boys began to cruise along the normally quiet county road towards a friend’s house, they approached a tree line atop a slight hill just before the often beer-can-laden front yard of Crum.
“Mr. Crum was waiting in his driveway in his car, we couldn’t see him as we were approaching the driveway, but he shoots out at full speed trying to hit us,” said Fisher, now a 21-year-old business administration major at Tarleton State University.
According to Rinderknecht, Crum proceeded to chase the boys down the road while he waved a loaded shotgun out of the driver-side window and made several verbal threats to their lives.
“He was yelling that he was going to shoot us, because he said the cart was too loud and had woken him up from a nap,” Fisher recalled.
The two boys made it back to Fisher’s parents’ house safely and immediately alerted his father of the man’s actions. But the terror was far from over. Fisher’s father ran to his truck, cranked it up, and parked it at the end of the drive to block the infuriated neighbor’s entrance and essentially cut him off from the two boys. Crum, being blocked by Fisher’s father’s efforts, proceeded to burnout for an extended period of time in the family’s gravel drive and slung rocks in his father’s immediate direction.
“[The rocks] shattered the headlights and put all kinds of dings and dents all over it, but luckily my dad told us to wait in the house or we would have been right out there with him and had the gravel thrown all over us,” Fisher explained.
The act alone cost the Rinderknecht’s over $4,000 worth of damage to the family’s truck, according to Fisher and court documents.
After leaving the Rinderknecht’s drive, Crum tore back to his mobile home with Fisher’s dad in pursuit. He then barricaded himself inside and began an extended standoff with Somervell County Sheriff’s deputies and Texas Rangers, all while making claims that “he had grenades in there”, Fisher stated.
“It actually took [police] about two or three hours to get him to come out,” Fisher continued. “There were [police] all over the neighborhood. It was very bizarre and wild. He’s obviously a threat to society and doesn’t need to be out.”
Crum was arrested and ultimately found guilty of committing a terroristic threat and on Oct. 23, 2007 by the six-member jury of Johnny L. Windham, John Joseph Potts, Shannon R. Hulsey, Cynthia Zouars, Donald R Moten, and Maria Martinez in Somervell County. Crum’s 18-month jail sentence was waived after time served from initial arrest to official conviction was applied.
The only real penalty he faced for threatening the lives of two local boys? Crum was sentenced to 24 months of community supervision and forced to fork out a little over $1500 in fines, court costs, and monthly community supervision fees.
In a statement signed by the honorable Ronald D. Hankins after the incident, Hankins confirmed that Crum “did then and there intentionally and knowingly threaten to commit an offense involving violence” to the two boys, and said that “he threatened [...] bodily harm, with the intent to place [the two boys] in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”
Since the incident involving the motorcyclist has gone viral, Rinderknecht has been keeping tabs on the case and Crum.
“This motorcycle thing is just the most recent incident, but who knows what else he has done,” and unfortunately gotten away with,” Fisher said. “[…] Ever since I first saw the video [of Crump’s actions on Facebook] I have been whole-heartedly involved in it, because I do think it was intentional and I do think that it was wrong. Whenever they released his name, I thought – William Crum – and my heart just dropped because I knew exactly who it was as soon as I saw that.
“If he didn’t learn his lesson from when he tried to kill me and my friend, then I don’t think he is going to learn from any fine or restitution or anything like that. It is going to come down to cold hard time.”