Tulsa Man Critically Injured Trying To Fight Off Thief

Thursday, September 16th 2010, 12:00 pm

By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- A Tulsa man is in the hospital after fighting a thief in broad daylight.  Jaime Saldivar was mowing a lawn when a guy tried to steal his work truck and lawn equipment.

It happened in the 2300 block of North Yukon late Wednesday afternoon.  A Tulsa Police officer on routine patrol spotted Saldivar in the street.

Witnesses told police, the man owned a lawn mowing business.

"I was very hurt, because like I said, he's an excellent young man, a good neighbor," Lee Strickland, a neighbor, said.

Police believe Saldivar grabbed hold of the vehicle and began fighting with the thief. When the driver floored it, Saldivar fell off and hit his head.

"I couldn't even believe it. I couldn't even believe it," said Darren Oliver, a Lawn Serviceman.  "If you are out here working, you know what I mean, you can't just watch your stuff plus cut, you know what I mean, but man!"

Oliver works with another lawn crew in the same area and knows Saldivar.

EMSA treated Saldivar for head and neck injuries and transported him to a Tulsa hospital in critical condition.

About an hour and half later, Tulsa Police got a call about a suspicious vehicle in the 2700 block of North Xenophon.

Tulsa Police determined it was the truck stolen earlier. A witness told police that he had seen a while male get out of the truck.  Police say none of the lawn mowing equipment in the truck was stolen.

Saldivar's longtime neighbor says the family is at his bedside.

"He's a hard worker, he's got two beautiful children, he'll do anything for you," Strickland said. "I just hope he's able to pull through."

News On 6 reporter Lacie Lowry spoke with Saldivar's brother Thursday afternoon. He says Jaime is out of surgery and still unconscious.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 596-COPS.


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