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Argyle robbery suspects arrested

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Ethan Merritt Williamson

Argyle police served arrest warrants to three suspects involved in a March 7 attempted robbery at Johnny Joe’s, 401 S Hwy 377.

In an affidavit of probable cause, Ethan Merritt Williamson, 21, of Haltom City, was named as the person who entered Johnny Joe’s around 6:30 a.m. and informed the clerk that he was going to rob her.

“A white male suspect entered the store and after all customers left the store he approached the clerk and placed a white envelope on the counter. The clerk asked what the envelope was and the suspect told her that he was going to rob her and told her to give him the money.”

In addition, he placed his hand on his hip indicating he had a gun; however, the clerk refused to give him any money. When a customer approached, the suspect fled the store running eastbound toward the Argyle High School. No vehicle was reported.

According to witnesses and the clerk, the suspect was approximately six-feet tall, wearing black clothing and shoes and had a large tattoo on the left side of his neck.

By midnight that day, the suspect—and accomplices– had been identified, thanks to store and neighbor video, plus social media.

On store video footage at 6:19 a.m., on March 7 a black four-door car pulled up to the gas pumps at Johnny Joe’s and Williamson exited the vehicle and went into the store.

Jonathan Hunter Curran, 22, of Corinth was a suspect in a previous burglary offense and was easily identified by an Argyle officer. In addition, the officer was able to identify Gary Wildeveld, 21, of Argyle, as a passenger in the car. He was seated in the backseat on the left side within view of the camera. The officer had dealt with Wildeveld several times over the past seven- to eight-years and was certain he was the passenger in the back seat of the car.

A call from a resident of a neighborhood just east of Johnny Joe’s had called saying they’d given a ride to a shoeless white male. Police had recovered a black tennis shoe in the parking lot of the Journey Church on Cook Street near the scene of the attempted robbery.

Based on information from friends of Wildeveld, the officer found Facebook photos of Williamson with a neck tattoo matching the witnesses’ description.

On March 8, the Argyle PD officer went to Wildeveld’s residence to conduct an interview related to the previous burglary investigation. While there, Wildeveld confirmed that Williamson and Curran were staying on Sunrise Circle. It was the same address identified as the one to which the shoeless rider had been driven.

In a double-blind lineup, the woman identified Williamson as the person she’d driven to that address.

Later that evening, the Flower Mound PD called to say that the residents at 10500 Sunrise Circle had been arrested and were in their jail. In custody were: Williamson; the owner of the black car, Elizabeth Clay; and, another resident, Thomas Nolen.

During an interview on March 9, the Argyle officer and a FMPD Detective, Williamson admitted he was in the car, but said he’d been forced to participate and didn’t steal anything. He added that after the robbery, Wildeveld was in the driver’s seat, because he lives in Argyle and knew that the Boonesville Bend escape route would lead to FM 407.

Williamson added that Wildeveld and Curran stopped the car and told Williamson to hide in a Porta Potty next to the residence of the person who gave him a ride to the Sunrise Circle location three hours after the robbery attempt.

During the three hours he stayed inside the Porta Potty, Williamson said he threw in a black hat, long-sleeve top, gloves, the other shoe and a meth pipe. He said he didn’t know why Curran and Wildeveld left him, but when he finally opened the Porta Potty door he was surprised they weren’t waiting. That’s why he went next door and asked for a ride to 10500 Sunrise Circle.

Later on March 9, Wildeveld and Curran were arrested and were being held in the Flower Mound jail.

On Friday, March 10, both Curran and Wildeveld both declined to be interviewed with the presence of an attorney.

No future details have been released.

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