A crime that rocked the Tulsa community and reached thousands across the country and the world is getting some positive attention.
Four months after elderly couple Bob and Nancy Strait were severly beaten and robbed in their north Tulsa home, the man who helped police catch one of the suspects is honored for his bravery.
The Strait’s television, jewelry and Dodge Neon were stolen from their home on March 14th
. The day after the crime, an alert driver recognized the car and called police.
That driver, Harold French Jr., was honored by Tulsa Police in an award ceremony today.
"Mr. French, good job, it is with great respect and a lot of pride I give you the TPD citizen appreciation award,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan.
Harold French Jr., 68, retired from the drywall industry said he recongized the Dodge Neon that had been broadcast on news stations the night before.
"I pulled up to the stop light at 3rd and Harvard and the car was sitting right next to me,” said French. "I just knew that was the car, it was instinct."
Instead of going to lunch, he went the opposite direction and took after the red Dodge Neon.
"I am reaching for my phone out of my pocket to call 911,” said French.
French sid he trailed behind. A few blocks later, the car stopped and with their guns drawn cops swarmed the area.
"They showed up about 30 seconds after we got there. There was no way in or out and they had the situation under control at that point in seconds, literally seconds,” said French.
Tyrone Woodfork, 20, was put in cuffs.
"To our family he is a hero, he his a real hero,” said the Strait's daughter Lanora.
French was humbled and said he was just doing what he needed to do.
"A lot of people would have thought that someone else will see it and someone else will do it. No, you've got to do it. You've got to be the responsible one to do it,” said another Strait daughter, Andra.
That same day 85-year-old Nancy Strait died from her injuries. Six weeks later her husband of 65-years, World War II Paratrooper, 90-year-old Bob Strait died.
The medical examiner is still determing his cause of death. The Strait family believes their father died from a broken heart.
"Every night when you go to bed and shut your eyes and think what mother went through her last hours on earth were so horrible and senseless,” said Lanora.
However, meeting Harold French Jr. brings the family peace. They’ve always wanted to say thank you.
"I have carried that card with me for four months now waiting for the day I could give it to him,” said Lanora.
Mr. French believes he was just doing the right thing and is blessed to meet their family.
"I was just thankful the Lord gave me the privelge to do it,” said French.
Now, the family prays another Good Samaritan will report the other suspects.
"I would beg anyone that knows anything to please call in. Maybe some of this pain can go away,” said Lanora.
Tyrone Woodfork is being held without bond on a first degree murder charge and robbery charges.
Homicide detectives believe there are at least four or five suspects involved in the case. Police previously released surveillnce photos of possible suspects involved in an auto theft.
If you have any information call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com.
Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.
TPD also recognized a Tulsa woman for helping reunite a four-year-old boy with his parents.
Tulsa police presented Lauryn Bohls with the Department’s Citizen Appreciation Award. In November, Bohls saw a 4-year-old walking in the area of 58th and Utica. He was disoriented and cold.
Police said Bohls stayed with the boy and helped police search the area until his parents were located. He had walked out of the home while his parents were sleeping.
Bohls is a neonatal intensive care nurse at St. Francis. Police said her good citizenship mirrors her career choice to take care of children.