One man is dead and another is injured after employees found three people trespassing at a septic tank cleaning business Thursday morning in south Oklahoma City.
Police were called about 4:30 a.m. to the 1800 block of S Santa Fe Avenue near SE 17th Street. The call original came out as a possible home invasion.
One person told police three trespassers, who were armed with a gun and a bat, broke in to American Sanitation. A man and woman who work at the facility arrived together in a pickup truck, and saw the men.
“The male apparently got out to confront them,” said MSgt. Gary Knight with Oklahoma City Police. “Some type of altercation took place between him and the three suspects.”
Police said the male employee was hit on the head with a baseball bat when he tried to chase the trespassers. The female employee, who remained in the truck, saw the assault and sped towards the suspects.
Police said the vehicle ran over one of the trespassers, who later died at the hospital. The two others ran away.
American Sanitation's owner Robert Hall said his employee John is expected to be ok.
“He’s a great guy and a great worker, and I’d do anything for him,” said Hall.
Hall added that he is not surprised that the woman, who he identified as Kenisha, fought back.
“She actually works on the truck and slinging the hoses and digging the dirt out and everything,” he said. “She is not a pushover.”
Hall said his business is no stranger to break-ins, but he cannot understand why a waste processing facility keeps being targeted. He said thieves have stolen car batteries and trailers, plus someone vandalized one of the employee’s trucks with a racial slur six months ago.
He has responded to these crimes by putting up more fencing, but that still has not stopped the attacks.
“Sometimes the more your protect it, the more they think there’s valuable stuff in there,” he said, “and people are paying us to haul the stuff off, so what we’ve got is not very valuable.”
Police have not made any arrests in this case, and detectives have yet to determine if the female driver will face charges.
Knight said, “They’re not going to go into it with preconceived ideas, but they do want to figure out exactly what happened and who did it.”
Police have not yet released the identity of the suspect who died, and so far, there are no descriptions for the other two men who escaped. If you have any information, call the homicide tip line at (405) 297-1200.