|Updated: 3/19/2012 9:16 am
||Published: 3/16/2012 8:04 pm
The beating of an elderly couple that rocked Tulsa is being felt in the Tulsa Police Department.
"For us to know they could have got what they got without doing anything to them these people are lower than the average sub human that we deal with on a daily bases,” said TPD Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker.
On Thursday, detectives arrested Tyrone Woodfork, 19, in connection to the murder of 85-year-old Nancy Strait.
Homicide detectives worked through the night, investigating Mrs. Strait’s murder and her 90-year old husband Bob Strait’s attack.
He was beaten with a BB gun with a BB lodged in his face. Police believe there could be up to five suspects involved in the home invasion.
As much crime as you hear reported, the fact is that media only reports a small fraction of what law enforcement is dealing with on a daily basis.
However, that fraction can feel overwhelming.
"Bad things daily in this community, bad things happen in the best communities, Tulsa is still relatively a safe place to live,” said Walker.
The crimes reported in just the last two weeks have been all over Tulsa, many FOX23 News viewers say crime is getting worse and Tulsa is getting more dangerous.
However, that may not be the case.
First, on March 7th a man opened fire outside of the Tulsa County Courthouse and hit a deputy. In the crossfire a bystander was shot in the leg.
On March 9th, Avonna Olson, a veteran Tulsa Public Schools employee, was killed by a thief who ran her over as he sped off in her minivan.
On Monday, TPD Sex Crimes detectives arrested two suspected serial rapists.
Michael R. Harris, 46 arrested for preying on five women in parking lots and raping them.
Willis Sisco, 25, arrested for raping a 19-year-old girl in LaFortune Park and then a woman he was acquainted with in her apartment.
On Wednesday, elderly couple Nancy and Bob Strait were brutally attacked and robbed in their home.
Thursday, 41-year-old man Tony Ray Anderson of Broken Arrow was murdered in an East Tulsa apartment.
Thursday night, Mrs. Strait died from blunt force trauma to the head.
“I am going to tell you it was brutal and senseless and animalistic,” said Walker.
Mr. Strait is in serious condition.
"There are some people who do bad things and you can see a glimmer of hope, Mr. Woodfork has none of that. I don't care what he does in prison, or what God he finds or what rehab he goes through, nobody here sees any redeeming qualities in that individual. That is a sad thing to say for somebody so young,” said Walker.
Detectives believe Woodfork and at least four others beat the elderly couple for a flat-screen television, a couple hundred dollars, a BB gun and their Dodge Neon.
"This is lower than low and we are not done hunting for them,” said Walker.
Some Tulsans say it’s clear a number of kids are growing up surrounded by drugs and crime and violence.
"There needs to be a positive influence,” said childcare provider Lakesha Mayes.
However, as much as crime seems to be around you, the reality is that most neighbors most days are not filled with danger.
For the Williams they feel it’s safe enough for a stroll through the LaFortune Park.
"We've had a wonderful, wonderful day,” said Peggy Williams.
Her husband, George married her ten years ago when he was age 70.
"We've just had the best time of all,” said Mrs. Williams.
They’re fully aware of all the bad things that have happened but looking at the bigger picture they still believe they live in a safe community.
"Tulsa is the most beautiful city in the United States,” said Williams.
Tulsa Police report violent crime is down by 10% compared to this time last year.
COMPSTAT numbers show there were 4,589 total Part 1 Crimes (Homicide, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft) reported from January 1st to March 16th in 2011. There were 459 fewer violent crimes reported in the same time period in 2012.
Rape was the only crime that increased from 45 to 58 in that same time period. However, the FBI updated its definition of Rape to what Oklahoma uses. TPD Sex Crimes Sergeant Mark Mears, said while it appears there is a 22% increase in rape cases there was only an increase of one rape compared to this time last year.
Sergeant Mears supports the change because the numbers are now being reported accurately.
The Strait family has set up a memorial fund at Arvest bank.