Court appearance set for suspect arrested after local officer shot

Dallas Scott Bohanan. (Jail photo)
Dallas Scott Bohanan. (Jail photo)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 5, 2019 at 9:41 AM CST
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A federal court appearance has been scheduled for Dallas Scott Bohanan, 25, who was arrested after a Hewitt police officer was shot following a bank robbery.

Bohanan is scheduled for an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate Monday in Waco.

Bohanan, 25, remains in the McLennan County Jail, charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and evading arrest.

His bonds total $160,000, but he’s also held on a federal detainer.

He faces federal charges in connection with the robbery.

The officer, Clint Brandon, was struck in the upper part of the left arm by a shotgun blast the suspect fired at his patrol unit after the holdup Tuesday at Pointwest Bank at 420 North Hewitt Dr. in Hewitt, Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said.

"From what I understand, as far as anyone can recall, this is the first officer that has been shot in the line of duty in the history of Hewitt," said Devlin.

Devlin said Brandon has been with the department for about two years.

He was on a call near the bank when the robbery was reported shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, Devlin said, and he arrived as the suspect was leaving the bank, got out of his patrol vehicle and ordered the man to show his hands.

Instead, the robber opened-fire on the officer who took cover and returned fire, he said.

The robber got into his truck and sped off with the officer in pursuit, but stopped in the 100 block of North Hewitt Drive, got out, and opened fire on the officer, Devlin said.

Authorities say the officer, despite his injury, continued the chase until other officers arrived, and then pulled over at the intersection of Bagby Avenue and Corporation Parkway.

"He continued into the pursuit, he continued pursuing the whole time because he was there and he wanted to get the bad guy," said Devlin. "The officer was a warrior."

Police took the injured officer to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center where he was treated and released.

"It’s pretty scary, and it’s pretty much by the grace of God there was no more significant injuries to this officer," said Devlin.

Other officers continued the pursuit, which ended in a crash at Garden Drive and Wingate Drive, northeast of the high school, where the robber's truck crashed through the fence of a corner house.

The homeowners told KWTX no one was hurt and the repairs would be expensive.

The suspect ran after the crash, but was caught a few blocks away by Waco police officers just before 9:30 a.m.

“This is a very violent offender who had no care in the world about taking out a law enforcement officer, which is very concerning,” Devlin said. "I'm very happy that we have the individual in custody and he can't do this to anybody else."

Texas Rangers are investigating the officer-involved shooting, the FBI is investigating the bank robbery, and the DPS is investigating the crash.

"We heard the bang, the dog went crazy," said longtime neighborhood resident Anita Jordan. "This happens on TV with all the cop chases and stuff like that - it doesn't happen in this neighborhood."

Midway ISD schools near the bank were locked down because of the incident.

University High School and Alta Vista Elementary were also placed on soft lockdown for about an hour, according to Waco ISD officials.

Maria Lopez, a mother of three who lives close to the crash scene, was at Alta Vista, where one of her daughter's goes to school, doing an educational class with her infant daughter at the time.

"It was kinda scary," she said.

Once the lockout was lifted, Lopez said she had to take an alternate route home because streets were blocked.

"I never imagined it was so close to my house," said Lopez. "You never believe these things are going to happen in a neighborhood where it's so quiet."

Officers were searching an area near the scene of the crash on both sides of Highway 77 roughly bounded by Cloverleaf Drive and Darden Drive, evidently for the weapon used in the holdup.

An undisclosed amount of cash was recovered at the crash scene from Bohanan's truck, Devlin said.

The bank was ringed with crime scene tape.

Bank officials said they were thankful for the "swift actions" of law enforcement and that no employees were hurt.

"They were pretty well shaken up because it was an armed robbery, but everyone seems to be fine," said Charles Nemec, the president of Pointwest Bank.

Nemec said branch employees will have a few days off.

"Our prayers go out, especially to the Hewitt policeman wounded as the robber left the bank," said Nemec.

More than a year has passed since the last time an officer was shot in Central Texas.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Damon Allen, 41, was shot to death on Nov. 23, 2017, after a traffic stop on Interstate 45 near Fairfield.

Dabrett Black, 33, of Lindale was later arrested near Prairie View.