Father & Son Accused Of Attacking Central Mall Employee, Fracturing Face
TEXARKANA, Texas–A Texarkana, Ark., man who allegedly beat an employee of Central Mall in Texarkana, Texas, so badly that he required facial surgery and is in danger of losing an eye, has been freed on a $150,000 bond.
Daniel Lynn Thomas, 38, allegedly confronted the mall employee, Richard Houff Jr., after Houff had reportedly booted Thomas’ 13-year-old son and another teen from the mall premises on Saturday for unruly behavior, according to a probable cause affidavit.
A female mall security officer reported to police that she had asked the teens to leave because they were “horseplaying with a stroller” and that after they became “very disrespectful toward her,” Houff intervened, “getting in their faces” but not touching either boy.
A short time later on Jan. 20 one of the teens returned to the mall with Thomas and confronted Houff as he stood near a jewelry kiosk. Using video surveillance, police determined that Thomas became heated and was putting his hands in Houff’s face when his son allegedly pushed Houff.
The father and son allegedly “look at each other and both swing at the same time,” the affidavit said.
Thomas allegedly hit Houff under the chin while his son allegedly struck him in the face. After that, Thomas and the juvenile allegedly pushed Houff at the same time, knocking him to the tile floor.
“Once on the ground, Houff does not make any movements, leading me to believe he was unconscious upon hitting the floor,” the affidavit said, referring to video footage that reportedly captured the confrontation from multiple angles.
After Houff was knocked to the floor, Thomas allegedly “mounted” him and hit him “with great force four more times.”
“After the assault the teenage male and adult male proceeded to walk out of the south entry of the mall, not appearing to be concerned whatsoever,” the affidavit said.
When police arrived, Houff was on the floor in a pool of blood with obvious injuries to his face. He was transported to a local hospital where it was determined he had suffered fractures to bones around his eyes and was in danger of losing his right eye.
According to a gofundme page titled “Richard Houff Emergency Medical Fund,” Houff has twice been airlifted to UAMS in Little Rock where doctors have worked to save his eye and treat his injuries. The gofundme post identifies Houff as the sole breadwinner for a family of four and said he had been working two jobs to support them before he was attacked at the mall.
The post asks for donations to help Houff with his mounting medical bills and related costs and to aid the family with day-to-day living expenses.
Thomas was arrested Wednesday and released the same day after posting a $150,000 bond set by Justice of the Peace Nancy Talley, jail records show. If convicted of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, Thomas faces two to 20 years in a Texas prison.
Information regarding any charges the juvenile may face was unavailable Thursday.
The case has been assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.