Bond Set for Hit-and-Run Suspect

Driver stopped trying to leave the country, police say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Omar Mohammed, 25, was pulled off a plane moments before takeoff at DFW Airport. Arlington police say he's accused in the hit and run that seriously injured 73-year-old Terry Pinkston. (Published Thursday, Feb 20, 2014)

    The suspect accused of severely injuring a 73-year-old man in a hit-and-run crash Saturday is being held on $250,000 bond at the Arlington jail.

    Authorities said they pulled Omar Bashir Mohammed off a plane at DFW Airport Wednesday night as he was trying to leave the United States.

    Arlington police Lt. Christopher Cook said the 25-year-old suspect was on a flight bound for the Middle Eastern country of Jordan.

    “We’re very happy because, had this been a day later he’s out of the country," Cook said. "So all of the pieces really worked to our favor.”

    Cook said evidence showed Mohammad was driving the Honda Civic that struck 73-year-old Terry Pinkston from behind Saturday as he went for a walk along Ascension Boulevard in his North Arlington neighborhood.

    Pinkston was released from the hospital Wednesday.

    The victim's daughter, Shannon Pinkston, said her father was not up to speaking about it Thursday but was pleased about the arrest.

    “At least there are lovely human beings that cared and they spread the info and they got the tips in and then the police came through,” Shannon Pinkston said.

    The car seen in the attack was the target of an area-wide search.

    Witness Bill Komar said he saw Pinkston from the balcony of his apartment on Ascension Boulevard bleeding on the sidewalk below.

    Komar called 911, rushed down to provide Pinkston with first aid and gave police a description of the vehicle he saw leaving the scene.

    “I’m glad they got him before he got out of the country because it would have been real hard to get him back afterwards,” Komar said.

    Police said Komar was a good Samaritan who saved Pinkston’s life and helped solve the crime.

    “Had it not been for him, number one we would not have had a vehicle description,” Cook said.

    After initial publicity about the crime, Cook said police received about 50 tips.

    “This could have been any of us and I think that’s what really struck a nerve with all of us,” he said.

    An anonymous tip led investigators to a blue Honda Civic with dents and a new windshield Tuesday. It was parked at Mohammed's parent's home.

    A search warrant said damage to the car matched wounds Pinkston suffered. Mohammed's parents said  the 25-year-old left the car with them because it had a transmission problem.

    The search warrant said Mohammed worked at a Dallas auto body shop where he had access to car repair parts.

    Cook said detectives obtained surveillance video of Mohammed driving the car moments before the accident out of the Green Oaks Boulevard apartment complex where the suspect lived, only a block from where Pinkston was struck.

    “We definitely had some intelligence that we received that he was probably not going to come in and talk to us or surrender,” Cook said.

    An arrest warrant was issued for Mohammed Wednesday and federal agents determined he had boarded a plane at DFW International Airport around 9:30 p.m.

    “We don’t believe this was a planned trip. We believe fully that he was going to avoid apprehension by leaving the country,” Cook said.

    Mohammad faces a felony charge of failure to stop and render aid -- accident involving serious bodily injury or death. He has been ordered to surrender his passport and wear an ankle monitor if he is released on bail.

    Shannon Pinkston said the ordeal has been a nightmare for her family but the arrest is a relief.

    “I thought, ‘This is a movie.’ What is the deal with this whole thing? And I woke Dad up to tell him and all he said when he looked at me, he said. ‘Good.’”

    Komar said he and Pinkston are planning a reunion over the weekend after the hit-and-run that brought them together the first time, provided Pinkston feels up to it.

    “I am so pleased that they found this guy,” Komar said. “The most important thing is that Mr. Pinkston is OK.”