All Gary Stephenson wanted to do was take his grandson into the QuikTrip across from Owasso High School for a snack on Friday.
He says a crowd formed and fights started in the parking lot and inside the store. The retired Tulsa Police officer stepped in to break them up. What happened next was caught on video, shared hundreds of times on Facebook and led to an Owasso police investigation.Stephenson says the reason he intervened was because he didn't want to see anyone get hurt. He ended up getting shoved into the QT sign and blindsided by a sucker punch.
The punch got the crowd going until Good Samaritans ran to Stephenson's defense.
Owasso police showed up, but didn't make any arrests at the time. Since this and other videos surfaced, police are now looking for two of the young men involved in the fight.
Stephenson's son Robert says his dad used his years of police training to try to diffuse the situation.
"It's upsetting when you see your father trying to something good and you see somebody hit him," Robert Stephenson said. "Yeah, I got upset."
Robert knows the incident didn't take place on school property, but hopes the faculty can make this a teachable moment for the students involved.
"I know it's kids being kids, [but] to actually disrespect an adult and hit and hit an adult when you're not even involved in the fight, that's another story," he said. "You know, that's total disrespect."
A post on the Owasso Police Department’s Facebook page Saturday described what happened:
On Friday, April 8th 2016 Owasso Police responded to a report of a physical fight at the Owasso QuikTrip location near 86th St N and 129th E Ave. Upon arriving, Officers found a crowd of around 50 or more older teens and young adults in a mob around the parking lot, front walkways and inside the store. It was determined a retired law enforcement officer who attempted to break-up the fight was assaulted, however at the time the suspects disappeared into the crowds. No arrests were made at the time. Since then, several videos depicting the fight and aftermath have surfaced across social media. Owasso Police will be working to identify these suspects from said videos. Witnesses to the fight have suggested the suspects are either students from Tulsa Public Schools who traveled to Owasso, or transfer students from Tulsa that now attend Owasso Schools. Many citizens have commented on the ongoing problems near this location during after-school hours. Many other businesses in that area have sought Owasso Police assistance in enforcing No Loitering and that has been successful in those locations. We thank our public for assisting us in this investigation, providing us several videos and your continued support.