Tulsa Police Honor Citizens For Courageous Acts

Tuesday, July 10th 2012, 2:30 pm
By: News On 6

Harold French is just an ordinary guy who was on his way to get some lunch, when he became a courageous citizen, willing to risk his own safety to do the right thing.

And because of that, a suspected killer is behind bars and a grieving family has a little peace of mind.

The moment Harold French met the children and family of the late Bob and Nancy Strait, was touching and bittersweet.

7/9/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police To Honor Two Civilians

Sad, that what brought them here was the fact Bob and Nancy were brutally attacked inside their Tulsa home in March.

Nancy died shortly after her beating. Bob lived six weeks with his injuries and heartbreak, before passing away.

But, joyful, that French was receiving an award for finding the Straits' stolen vehicle and leading police to their suspected killer.

Andra, the Straits' daughter, said, "To hear his name, put a face to the name, to be able to say thank you—was really nice."

French was on his way to lunch, less than 24 hours after the terrible attack on the Straits.

He had seen a description of the stolen vehicle on the News on 6 the night before, and when he pulled up to it, he just knew it was the one.

"I just started following the car instead of going to lunch," French said.

3/15/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police Find Car Taken In Brutal Home Invasion

He followed it for blocks, until the driver realized he was being followed and made several turns and hesitated. But French didn't worry about his own safety—he just wanted to get the police.

"I'm reaching for my phone in my pocket, trying to pull it out to get to the 911 operator," French said, recounting that day.

Officers arrived moments later and recovered the vehicle and arrested the driver, Tyrone Woodfork, who has since been charged with Nancy Strait's murder.

French's bravery was recognized with the police department's citizen appreciation award.

As for the Strait family, they are getting by one day at a time and are still hoping those who know the others involved in the crime, will come forward.

"Be brave like Mr. French, do the right thing, who what your conscience tells you to do," Andra said."Do the right, Christian thing and turn them in."

The suspect is set for preliminary hearing at the end of this month.

Andra said the family will be there, to represent her parents, but her stomach is in knots just thinking about it. She said she's worried about the outcome, because the court dockets are so crowded.