Alan Carter is one of a dying breed. The 53-year-old's a newspaper carrier who plies his trade every morning well before dawn, delivering some 400 copies of The Dallas Morning News to the diminishing segment of the population that still gets its news printed on paper. It's a lonely job and, like delivering pizzas, occasionally dangerous.
Carter learned that the hard way about 3 a.m. last Sunday as he began his route at an apartment complex in the 2500 block of John West Road. The police report describing the incident was minimal, saying that Carter had been carjacked in the parking lot, suffering possible broken ribs and road rash. WFAA's Teresa Woodard fleshed out the story last night, interviewing a still-recovering Carter at his Mesquite home.
Alan Carter sat on his front porch and winced in pain each time he moved the wrong way. It took eight days for him to gain the strength to even sit up long enough to tell his story.
"There's a bruise here," he said, pointing to his left side, "and it crushed two ribs, then went across my arm here," he said, pointing to a large, purple-and-yellow bruise on his right arm.
He was still weak and winded. He had to catch is breath between thoughts.
"Two days I was in intensive care, because he punctured a lung, broke my ribs, lacerated my spleen," Carter said.
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On the morning in question, Carter told Woodard that he'd left his 2003 Ford Ranger idling while he dropped papers on a couple of porches. When he returned, he saw a man trying to steal the truck.
What Carter didn't see, not until it was too late, was that the man had two accomplices. They hit him hard on the side of the head, knocked him to the ground, then hopped in the truck. Carter, a solid 240 pounds, jumped up on the driver's side to try to stop them but was soon thrown off and run over. Hence the road rash.
Carter is relieved to be alive, but he's a bit puzzled by why someone would steal a decade-old Ford Ranger only to abandon it in southern Dallas when it runs out of gas. Unless, of course, they enjoy the Morning News' reliably excellent Sunday paper a bit too much.
But stealing decade-old domestic pickups and SUVs seems to be the M.O. of whatever car thieves are targeting apartments along John West Road. The night after Carter was attacked, thieves attempted to steal a 1996 a Ford Explorer. Four days later and a couple of blocks away, they stole a 2002 Dodge Durango. So, their tastes aren't particularly refined.