LINDALE -- Friday morning did not end the way 34-year-old Ryan Romine thought it would end -- in the emergency room being stitched up after a scuffle with a armed robber inside his pickup.
Romine said he was on his way to make the daily bank deposit for the Lindale Kidd Jones store where he is manager, when he saw a black man trying to flag him down on West South Street.
"I don't typically stop when I am carrying the bank drop, but I was approaching a stop sign, so I wasn't going that fast," he said.
What happened next took Romine by surprise as the man ripped open his truck door and attempted to pull him out of the vehicle.
"I think he was going to take my truck and the bank drop, but I fought him. He got into the truck and we fought as the truck kept rolling down the street," he said.
Romine said he and the man continued fighting and he had almost choked the man out when he let him go.
"I thought if I let him go he would just get out of my truck, but that's when he pulled the gun and hit me a few times pretty good," he said.
Lindale Police Chief Dan Somes said the man got away, but left his shoes behind as he was fleeing the scene.
The man's flight caused police to put several nearby schools on lockdown for hours as law enforcement officers with local, state and federal agencies combed the area, using tracking dogs and a helicopter.
"We don't have many leads about his whereabouts other than what our victim told us about which way the man ran," he said at the scene Friday.
The barefoot robber was able to elude officers and remained on the loose Friday afternoon, but Somes said there is dome good evidence, such as the man's shoes, which may contain DNA needed to identify the man.
Police asked anyone with information about the robbery to contact Lindale Police at 903-882-3313 or their local law enforcement agency.
By mid-afternoon Romine was back at work in the convenience store.
"It was a little more excitement than I am accustomed to, but I don't scare too easy. I had to have a few stitches and get a Tetanus shot, but that's about it," he said.