By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
It was an armed homeowner who looked out Christmas morning to see two men trying to steal a car in his driveway, and who held the two at gunpoint until deputies arrived.
The manhunt that had begun the night before ended with that sighting Wednesday morning at a home on NECR 0190 near Chatfield.
The two men — Donald Duglas Atkins, 22, and Shamicheal Treshon White, 18, both listing addresses from Shreveport, La. — spent Tuesday night in the rural outdoors in light clothing before being captured. They were taken to Navarro Regional Hospital before being booked at the jail Christmas morning. One of the men was treated for hypothermia before being released to the jail.
“One was in shorts, but they both were very underdressed for the weather,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton.
The two were formally charged Thursday after first being placed on an investigative hold, to give police time to work on the case, according to Bratton.
Justice of the Peace Vicki Gray arraigned the pair Thursday afternoon. They were both charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, evading arrest, and criminal trespass. Bonds totaling $256,000 each were set by Gray.
It began Tuesday, Christmas Eve, when the pair are believed to have held a man up with a handgun at a car wash on Seventh Avenue around 5:30 p.m., stealing a late-model white Chevrolet Camaro. After a speedy chase through town and out into the countryside, they crashed the car into a fence on FM 1603 near Chatfield and ran off on foot.
Officers from Corsicana Police, Navarro County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Public Safety offices in Navarro County, Ellis County, and a helicopter from the Dallas office, as well as Navarro County Constable Mike Davis and Rice Police all responded to the manhunt, which went on for nearly six hours before Tanner called it off for the night.
Tracking dogs from the Texas Department of Corrections were used, but unsuccessfully.
Overnight, temperatures dropped nearly to freezing, but the two apparently didn’t feel it was worthwhile to come out of hiding. The next morning, though, they were looking for more transportation, catching the attention of the homeowner.
“Early in the morning he looked out the window and saw one of the suspects trying to get into their vehicle,” Tanner said. “They called 9-1--1 and kept them there until deputies could arrive.”
Tanner said the family didn’t want to call too much attention to their actions out of concern for retaliation.
“Let’s just say those individuals were prepared to defend their property and themselves if necessary,” he said.
“We’re thankful they were able to apprehend those individuals without anyone being injured,” Tanner added.
Tanner expressed gratitude for the selflessness of the many officers who responded to the call.
“At one point in time we probably had 30 officers at that location,” Tanner said. “They came without hesitation on Christmas Eve to assist.”
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com