It was a brutal attack that happened on Memorial Day in Sour Lake, Texas that somehow avoided the national headlines.
Now the officer who was savagely beaten is still in a coma and his family is asking the country to pray.
Officer William ‘Bill’ McKeon Junior is just 59-years-old. On Sunday evening, his daughter went on Facebook and mentioned that he was in a coma. She asked for prayers for the severely injured officer.
It happened on the night of May 27 when McKeon was answering a call (details of the attack below).
“We don’t know how to do this on our own. We can’t. We need supernatural prayer for our dad, we need supernatural peace in the interim,” said just before 5 p.m. Sunday.
Burns said doctors told the family that McKeon is in a coma, and that he could wake up in three weeks or as long as three months.
She ends with a passage from Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Local media outlets spoke to Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson Sunday evening, said that as recently as Saturday McKeon had been responsive to doctors.
On Friday, doctors wired McKeon’s jaw shut during surgery and repaired fractures to his face, forehead and sinus cavity Burleson said.
He’s also asking for continued prayer for the recovery of McKeon who remains in the intensive care unit.
Officer McKeon had been doing side jobs to help support his family. He’s obviously unable to do that right now, and so a friend of the family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to try and help provide some financial relief.
McKeon is a four-year veteran of the Sour Lake Police Department.
Here’s what we know about what happened.
Bradley Joseph Pruitt, 45, is accused of brutally assaulting McKeon outside a Sour Lake convenience store. Sources tell law enforcement today that Pruitt has a history of violence agains law enforcement and others.
Pruitt, who according to a Hardin County Sheriff’s Office news release is from Bowling Green, Kentucky, was wanted by the Las Cruces, New Mexico District Attorney Office. They were searching for him for failure to appear on an original case of possession of a firearm or destructive device.
At about 8:30 p.m. on Memorial Day, McKeon was dispatched to a call about an “unwanted person” the J & R Market at the intersection of Hwy 105 and 326 in Sour lake according to Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson.
Shortly after McKeon arrived, there was a confrontation between him and the suspect. Police Pruitt beat McKeon leaving him with “traumatic head injuries”.
They say Pruitt then stole McKeon’s Sour lake Police SUV and fled heading north on Highway 326.
At first, officers thought McKeon had been shot as initial callers to dispatch reported hearing gunfire.
Firefighters and medics from the Sour Lake Volunteer Fire Department as well as Acadian Ambulance responded to the scene and also thought McKeon was shot due to the amount of blood on his face and body.
Officer McKeon was transported by an Acadian Air Med helicopter to Christus St. Elizabeth hospital in Beaumont, and police say it wasn’t discovered until McKeon arrived via helicopter at the Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital emergency room that he had not been shot but had been beaten.
Officers and deputies and K-9 units from the Beaumont Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety joined Hardin County Sheriff’s deputies and Sour Lake Police officers in the search for the suspect. They soon after found McKeon’s abandoned Sour Lake Police SUV along Texas Highway 326 between Sour Lake and Kountze.
They searched the area through the night, and the suspect was believed to have been spotted at least twice overnight.
At daylight the following morning, troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety took the suspect into custody in the 6400 block of Texas Highway 326 according to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.
Pruitt is believed to be a transient the sheriff’s office said, and was taken to the Hardin County Jail. He’s now accused of taking the officer’s service weapon, aggravated assault on a public servant, aggravated assault, evading arrest with vehicle, unlawful possession of firearm by felon and take weapon from officer according to the release.
He’s being held on a $4 million bond.
Point 27 sent Thin Blue Line Dog Tags to McKeon’s department and the department that caught the man who attack Officer McKeon. They are the group who originally made Law Enforcement Today aware of this brutal attack and are joining us in prayer for McKeon and his family.