ABOVE: Reverend James C. Hicks (right) and daughter, Iowa Colony Council Member Arnetta Murray (left)
Our precious senior citizens must be protected AGAINST this barrage of attacks across the Greater Houston area
Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays where families gather to reflect and express their gratitude for all that God has provided.
For one family, they are expressing gratitude to God for allowing one of their loved ones to celebrate the holiday with them, while reflecting and seeking answers for the attack that seriously injured him and put him in the hospital.
It’s important to know who the Reverend James C. Hicks is to our community.
Born in Temple, TX in 1938, Rev. Hicks is a God-fearing family man, who has worked, preached, and taken care of his family for many years. He is a military veteran, a retired Post Office worker, and a man who walks regularly to manage his high blood pressure and health. Rev. Hicks received his bachelor’s degree from Houston Baptist University in 1986 and his Master of Divinity at the age of 75 from Houston Graduate School of Theology. He pastored Calvary Baptist Church for 20 years and is now the Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Hicks has been married to his wife, Oneder Hicks, for over 62 years. One other important thing to know is that Rev. Hicks has been dealing with dementia—a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities.
On Tuesday, November 15th, Rev. Hicks’ only daughter—Iowa Colony Council Member Arnetta Murray—received a call at work from her daughter informing her that Rev. Hicks had gone missing for over eight hours after going to the store. Arnetta rushed to her parents’ home to connect with her mother and family, and her son Aaron and daughter Rachel went searching for him down Martin Luther King Boulevard.
“First, I prayed and cried uncontrollably,” said Arnetta. “I couldn’t believe this was happening, so I decided to go on Facebook and post that my dad was missing.”
Arnetta states that she received close to 300 shares within the hour when she posted around 6:00 pm, and then around 6:35 pm, she received a call from someone at Herman Memorial Pearland, who informed her that her dad was there, nearly eight miles away from her parents’ home.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Arnetta was shocked to see that her father had received a swollen eye, had a gash in his head, and that his knuckles had scratches on them.
“It was like someone beat him,” said Arnetta. “I asked the nurses who brought him in. They responded that it was a good Samaritan.”
When Arnetta saw her dad and was able to speak with him, she asked him if he knew her and he immediately responded, “Girl, you are my daughter!”
Then Arnetta asked him about what happened to him, to which he responded that he fell. She questioned whether his falling caused him to get a black eye, but with dementia he only remembered that he fell. The left side of his face was very swollen, which is why Arnetta believes something nefarious may have happened.
“My family is shocked and hurt,” Arnetta passionately expressed. “My mom—his wife of 62 years—felt helpless, and she so loves that man. I am upset because my parents have lived in that community for over 50 years. My dad had on a suit when he was walking to the store. I believe he was attacked, and they thought he had money. He was only walking to the store to get candy. He never made it to the store because my daughter went to the owner of Crestmont Grocery to see if he came by, and she said that she didn’t see her friend.”
The family has filed a police report and met with investigators on November 29th to determine where they will go from here. They have also made a call to CrimeStoppers and are awaiting a returned call on how to offer a reward.
Sadly, it appears that elderly attacks in the Greater Houston area in 2022 are on the rise.
In February 2022, a 73-year-old Houston woman reported that she was attacked by her Uber driver in northwest Houston after the elder asked the lady to stop texting and driving.
According to Harris County Precinct 4 officials, 22-year-old Naponica Brooks was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and injury to an elderly person, after she allegedly pulled into a parking lot, grabbed the senior citizen’s arm and purse, yanked her out of the car, grabbed her phone as she was trying to call 911, threw it to the ground, and then sped off.
After a good Samaritan saw what happened, they reported the Uber driver’s license plate number, called the police, and the Harris County Precinct 4 officials traced the plates back to Brooks.
Two incidents happened in May 2022, involving our elderly citizens.
The first involved a 74-year-old woman who was attacked in a church parking lot in southwest Houston. Teofila Deleon was walking into church on that Sunday morning when a man allegedly punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground, before stealing her cell phone and wallet.
Deleon suffered broken toes and lost two front teeth after being punched. Her assailant, Trevion Rogers, has since been arrested.
The second involved an elderly man with a cane, who investigators reported was walking behind a Walmart when he was approached by a group of six teens.
The six teens—two boys who were believed to be between 16 and 18 years old and the four girls who were believed to be between the ages of 14 and 16—began harassing the elderly man.
According to investigators, the elderly man began to swing his cane at the boys to get them to leave him alone, while the girls were trying to get the boys to leave. Sadly, however, as the teens were walking away, one of the teenage boys pulled out a gun and fired one shot in the chest of the elderly man, killing him. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In August 2022, an 87-year-old woman was found dead inside her home in northwest Houston. The elderly woman had spinal fractures, bruising, chest injuries, and a human bite mark on her stomach, according to investigators.
And in this month of November, there were other incidents, other than the one that is believed to have put Rev. Hicks in the hospital.
Earlier this month, an 82-year-old woman was followed by three men to her house, roughly fifteen miles away from a Bunker Hill shopping center near the Katy Freeway where she was shopping. Little did the prospective criminals know that the Houston Police Department was watching and following them and were able to thwart off an attack. The three men were taken into custody after being arrested near the elderly lady’s home. It could have been bad.
Then another incident which occurred before Thanksgiving involved a 79-year-old man who was beaten with a hammer at an apartment complex in Cypress, by a 19-year-old named Elvera Adelia Peets, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The elderly man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and treated for bleeding and swelling of the brain.
This is not a message to highlight these savage crimes but is a message that we must tolerate NO MORE cruelty and attacks of our elderly and our senior citizens in any community.
All communities should take an active role in protecting and looking out for our elderly.
It is important for all of our elderly and senior citizens to be aware of their surroundings as they go from place to place, especially during this holiday season.