A dear friend of mine has requested this be shared. She and her husband are originally from McDowell County. They have been living in Oklahoma for a number of years serving God as a minister and Rita as a musician. This happened to them when returning from a recent visit home.
Please, if you would send this to everyone you know. It is the most traumatic thing I believe I have ever gone through, but it could definitely have been worse....God was watching over us for sure. But I want to let others know so they will beware, especially when traveling through that area or staying at that motel.
SUNDAY night my husband (Harold) and I, along with our two young grandchildren, were traveling from visiting family in NC back home to Oklahoma. We had traveled most of the day and this was later at night and we were all exhausted from travel, so we exited I-40 at Forrest City, Arkansas and stopped to spend the night at Day's Inn there.
While getting our things from our older model van to take in, this guy seemed to appear from nowhere and walked alongside our van, close by us and nearby our grandchildren. It seemed strange, but not near as strange as it turned out to be. Whenever one of us was at the ice machine or bringing things in, he was lingering around. We keep our grandchildren close by us.
We settled in the room, but had asked for more towels because the hotel did not provide 4 towels, even though there was 4 people. Our grandchildren were in bed asleep, and the Day's Inn Maint. man brought extra towels to Harold at the door for us to use.
THEN the worst thing happened! .... 2-3 minutes later there was another knock on the door. I had already gone in to take my shower-- Harold told me there was a knock at the door and the thought was that the Maint. man may have forgotten something. WRONG.... It was that guy that had been hanging around since we arrived. He said something like, "Hello Sir," as he proceeded to smash my husband in the head with a long, heavy something that must have been jagged or sharp, because it tore through flesh, ripping open chunks of skin, leaving gaping holes and a large hematoma with blood spurting everywhere with every pulsing beat of Harold's heart. We found later that the weapon had tore through an artery.
This guy obviously intended to kill him!
I am so thankful Harold is as strong as he is and has good reflexes for his age, though. Because as the guy was swinging the weapon down on Harold's head, Harold grabbed hold of the weapon, helping to deflect it somewhat, so instead of smashing it into the crown of his head, it ripped his upper forehead. If he had gotten the intended blow ontop of Harold's head, my husband probably would not be with us today. Harold held onto the weapon and said it felt heavy and had some sort of strings or wires on it that he was able to get his hand wrapped into. The perpetrator kept attempting to pull it away from Harold's grasp and finally yanked it loose (leaving very bad bruising on Harold's hand) and the guy ran off in the darkness.
I had heard commotion and Harold's calling out....I ran into the room just as Harold was quickly closing the door. It was awful. As I called the desk and getting Emergency Personnel and Police on their way, my granddaughter awoke to all of the uproar. She was so frightened and crying.
Harold was rushed by ambulance to the local hospital in Forrest City, AR, where he spent much of the rest of the night.
I could not conceive why someone would target us.....we drive an old green van---- we are older people---- and we have a little pop up camper behind the van. We don't dress in designer or fancy clothes...and if that guy passed by our van, looking in, he sure could tell we didn't have anything obviously expensive in it. I just could not fathom what he was after....and then it struck me...... My GRANDCHILDREN.....
We really believe if he had succeeding in killing Harold, he probably would've killed me also and snatched our two young grandchildren for whatever evil purpose. That has been the most overwhelmingly horrible revelation to me.
The Day's Inn Maint. man came to our room just before the Police and EMS arrived....he reported that a guy had ran past him earlier and asked about what the guy had on. Harold briefly described him, and the Maint. man responded that it was the fellow. He reported that the guy had ran in the direction of another hotel below Day's Inn, and that he had seen the guy around that evening several times.
Well, my questions since that time has been.....if they knew this guy was loitering around, or if some security person was watching surveillance of the area, how could something like this happen?
DISAPPOINTMENT IN PEOPLE and EVEN LAW ENFORCEMENT
Some of our family has called the Forrest City Arkansas Police Dept. at least once and usually more times, daily regarding their progress on the case. For the first two days they told us that they had requested the surveillance tape, but that the Day's Inn had not gotten it to them.... (so we called the Day's Inn to beg them to release the surveillance tapes so they might have a better change at catching this guy, but the manager was always busy and would not talk with us)-----then after we had to call and call the Day's Inn, they turned over minimal footage (evidently a grainy piece of footage at a distance with the perpetrator near the ice machine). Why in the world would they not want to help catch this guy before he tries to murder someone else or snatch their little ones. prom party dresses specially for tall girls
Would you BELIEVE?????? We have yet to hear from anyone at Day's Inn and we have reported this event to their home office and to Wyndham (the chain that Day's Inn is a part of.) We have NEVER heard one word from any of them....not a "How are you doing"....not a "We care".....nothing... Obviously they all want it "swept under the rug".
Day's Inn charged us for the room where someone tried to kill my husband, and they had known the perpetrator had been loitering around, and the carpet was filled with blood. Blood was all over the place at the entrance to that room. When my husband finally was returned to the hotel, we discussed going to another motel, but my little granddaughter was frantic with fear....she started crying uncontrollably because she did not want to have to go outside to take anything to the van until it was full daylight, so we remained in that room and then left the premises at good daylight... trying not to look back at that place.
My personal suggestion would be to bypass that place if you happen to be traveling through that area for any reason.
I am just very, very thankful I still have my husband and my grandchildren. His head wound is still very bad, but he is alive.