Samuel Forsyth (Jail photo)
HARKER HEIGHTS (August 2, 2012) ---A 21-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Division remained in the Bell County Jail Thursday evening after a mini crime spree in Harker Heights that included a fight at a restaurant and two business break-ins.
Samuel Forsyth was charged with assault and burglary of a building and was ordered held in lieu of bonds totaling $52,500.
The series of events that led to his arrest started at around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday when Harker Heights officers responded to a report of a fight at the Cheddar's restaurant on East Central Texas Expressway.
One of the victims told officers that a man he thought was drunk approached him while he was sitting in his car and tried to pull the keys from the ignition, according to a police affidavit.
The victim told officers that as he got out of the car, the man took a swing at him, and missed, threw a cell phone at him and then took off, the affidavit said.
Officers recovered the cell phone and a pair of sunglasses that the man left behind.
As police left the restaurant, another man who said he was looking for Forsyth flagged one of the officers down.
That man identified the sunglasses and cell phone as Forsyth’s, the affidavit said.
Less than two hours later, officers were sent back to the same area in response to a report of a burglar alarm at the Fort Hood Harley Davidson dealership a short distance from the Cheddar's.
Officers found broken glass and blood on the side doors of the building and found a man identified as Forsyth hiding inside the store in a clothes rack the affidavit said.
Fort Hood Harley Davidson dealership manager Butch Carter said he started to walk in with the officers Tuesday night, but stopped when they realized there was someone still in the building.
"His feet were just hanging out from under the rack so you could see them," Carter said.
Officers recovered a set of keys when they searched Forsyth, the affidavit said, but they didn’t belong to any of the Harley dealership’s motorcycles.
Officers checked the area and discovered that a nearby business, Texas Boat World, had also been broken into, and then vandalized.
Owner Cliff Brown said almost $50,000 in damage was done to the showroom, windows, boats, lights, merchandise, and a brand new vehicle in the back of the store.
Brown said there was also blood all over the showroom.
"Nothing was stolen but they left a lot of damage behind, they threw oil all over the showroom and merchandise and we'll have to completely replace some of the carpet," Brown said.
The keys police recovered from Forsyth were from one of the boats in the showroom, the affidavit said.
On Thursday Carter and employees at Texas Boat World were still cleaning up the damage and replacing windows from the break-in. Carter said he was glad police made an arrest, but said after he reviewed his own security footage he saw several people climbing on a pontoon boat outside the showroom just before the break-in happened.