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Four Dead in Senior Brawl

Updated on March 19, 2015
Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin, an experiened writer, enjoys creative writing in all forms, from literary to mainstream.

SHAWNEE, OK—A fight broke out at approximately 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning in the dining area of Sunny Day Breakfast Cafe on North Harrison. In the aftermath, 4 were dead, 3 hospitalized, and as many as 7 others sustained injury.

Among the dead are Jim Stimpson, 74, Kenneth Ross, 76, Hank Reider, 68, and Larry Reider, 74.

Frank Dwyer, 73, was life-flighted to OU Medical Center and is listed in critical condition, with multiple puncture wounds and cerebral swelling. Cindy Swanson, 24, and police officer Vance Wingate, 36, were also hospitalized and have since been released.

In connection with the incident, Dwyer has been charged with multiple counts, including murder. Dan Hickman, 72, was also arrested and faces several assault charges. He is currently free on bail. John Gutiari, 69, and Charlie Richards, 73, were questioned in relation to the events of Sunday morning but were later released.

In a bizarre skirmish, a group of senior citizens begin attacking one another with eating utensils over Sunday breakfast.
In a bizarre skirmish, a group of senior citizens begin attacking one another with eating utensils over Sunday breakfast. | Source

Details of the altercation are sketchy, but it is alleged the fight began with an argument between Frank Dwyer and Jim Stimpson. Dwyer and Stimpson would meet each Sunday morning for breakfast with a group of friends before joining their families for church. The group would usually include 7 other Shawnee Denizens.

Absent from the morning in question due to illness was Carol O’Hare, 72. Later reached for comment, O’Hare states, “We were friends from boyhood, most of us. Even the newbies had been around the last 30 years.” He continues, “Arguments, always, but I never would have guessed something like this would happen.”

Most that were witness agree the violence ensued after an argument concerning eggs and salt. Group member John Gutiari explains, “It was a running joke. Frank [Dwyer] was our cook when we’d go camping together. Some of us felt he would over salt the eggs. Every time we’d have breakfast together Jim [Stimpson] would say, ‘Do you want eggs with your salt?’”

A patron at Sunny Day Breakfast Cafe during the altercation recounts, “They were all laughing and [Dwyer] just snapped and stabbed [Stimpson] in the thy.”

We were friends from boyhood, most of us. Even the newbies had been around the last 30 years.

— Carol O’Hare
Officer Vance Wingate was the first responder to the brawl.
Officer Vance Wingate was the first responder to the brawl. | Source

At this time it can only be speculated as to how things progressed to the death of 4 seniors, but after the initial stabbing, the group turned riotous and everyday eating utensils were transformed into implements of bodily destruction.

With the help of other patrons, Cindy Swanson attempted to stop the senior carnage by introducing reason and promptly received a fork in the eye. The first police officer on the scene, Vance Wingate, would have a butter knife shoved in his sternum as well as sustain multiple bite wounds on the hands and face as a result of his efforts at peace. By the time the police had forcibly detained the group, the damage resembled something out of a modern day slasher film.

Lieutenant Sam Steifer recounts, “I’ve seen a lot of things in my 20 years on the job, but I have never seen anything like this.”

I’ve seen a lot of things in my 20 years on the job, but I have never seen anything like this.

— Lieutenant Sam Steifer
As the skirmish escalated, backup was called upon for help.
As the skirmish escalated, backup was called upon for help. | Source

As best can be ascertained, the wounds sustained by the dead are as follows: Jim Stimpson, 37 stab wounds to legs, chest and face, Kenneth Ross, gunshot wound to chest and mutilation of testicles and earlobes, Hank Reider, blunt force trauma to the chest, neck and head, and Larry Reider, heart attack.

An attendant at Sunny Day Breakfast Cafe, who asked not to be named, had the following to say, “They were always such a fun group. Full of energy, you know? It was nice ambience to listen to their same old stories every Sunday. I just don’t understand how this could have happened.”

When asked if the surviving members would continue to meet for Sunday breakfast, Guitiari replied, “I don’t think Sunny Day Breakfast Cafe would have us back.”

I don’t think Sunny Day Breakfast Cafe would have us back.

— John Gutiari

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A Note from the Author

As mentioned in the summary, the above story is entirely a product of the author's imagination. Beyond there being a Shawnee, Oklahoma and a Harrison Street, everything from the character names to the restaurant to the activities happening within it are made up for the purpose of your entertainment.

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    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Nadine: thanks so much for dropping by.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow Wow Wow that was a gripping tale! Very gruesome with plenty action and well written.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      DW: always good to have a laugh, even if the subject matter is a little dark.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      When I saw the ages of the parties involved I started to suspect the story was going to be a little different. Thanks for a good chuckle.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Lisavanvorst: crazier things have happened. Thanks for dropping by and the follow.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Wow you had me believing this. Such things can happen and people just snap. Even something as simple as a utensil can turn into a weapon. Good writing.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Nadine: thanks so much for dropping by the crime scene.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Jodah: hilarious response. Thanks so much for dropping by, and make sure to tighten those salt shaker lids.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow your short story could be written as a film script, or a police drama. Plenty action! Glad it was fiction.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Funny but tragic story Larry. In fact I can relate to this as this morning I had eggs for breakfast and the salt shaker was open a little too far ..result too much salt on my eggs. I was so angry with myself I almost stabbed my hand with the fork....true story...well except for the fork bit. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      The roadkill armadillo is their specialty, lol.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I actually ate the roadkill armadillo special at the Sunny Day while crossing Oklahoma on a road trip. I think I saw these aforementioned fellows. They looked like a rough bunch, I got the check and got out quick. Great hub!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Alicia: thanks so much for giving this not of absurdity a perusal.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is very interesting, Larry! When I saw your hub title in my email notifications I thought I was going to read a shocking hub. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was fiction. It's certainly a creative story!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Patty: lol, thanks for dropping by.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 years ago from North America

      This settles it - salt IS deadly. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      FlourishAnyway: it is always such a boost to my day to get positive feedback from you.

      Thank you for the comments.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      You've done a marvelous job with this, Larry! Voted up and more and shared! I like the humor and irony.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Will: thanks so much for your support.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I love well written spoof 'news items', and this one is a doozy! Well done, Larry!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      MizBejabbers: I've done these mock historical pieces before. You'd be surprised how many people don't read the summary and think I've done something factual.

      So glad you enjoyed the article and I really appreciate your comments.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      That was so funny! I knew from your opening remarks that it was a farce and kept reading anyway. As a senior myself, I have to say "I resemble that remark." Great laugh.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Peggy: thanks for joining us on this journey to the absurd.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am so glad to know that this was fiction. It would be hard to believe that seniors in a long time group like that could get that fired up over the seasoning of eggs with salt. Ha!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Pstraubie: so glad to hear you enjoyed yourself. Thanks so much for dropping by.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Ok..so you got me. It was so believable ...I kept saying tell me this is a joke. Love it.

      Angels are on the way

      Voted up ++++ and shared ps

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Billy: I really enjoy the absurd and the farcical. Hope it was worth a chuckle.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, you had me going for a second. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen this story on tv or in the newspaper. Whew! LOL