Cordell store owner upbeat after being roughed up in robbery during storm

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CORDELL, Okla. — If severe storms aren’t enough of a problem for Oklahomans, getting robbed during one just adds insult to injury.

Dawn Stegall is recovering from her injuries after she was robbed at her convenience store, Erv’s Quick Serv in the 1100 block of East Main St., as storms rolled through Cordell Thursday afternoon.

“Heard the door ding,” said Stegall. “And about the time I came out of my office I said, ‘We’re not open.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I know. I want your money.”

With the power out and her husband gone to check on their home a couple blocks away, Stegall, 56, says she didn’t know what to do when the suspect startled her.

“He started taking money out and I thought, well, I tried to elbow him in the stomach and I guess that made mad.”

Stegall says the man then threw her into the counter. She hit her head, and landed on the floor, bleeding. At one point the man got on top of her, pressing into her chest near her neck, she says.

“He just told me to be quiet,” she said. “So I just laid there in a fetal position with my face up against the counter, so I didn’t watch and I just told him, just leave.”

Police are still searching for the suspect — described as a white man, in his mid to late 30s, between 5’9”-5’11” tall — who made off with cash.

Despite sporting four staples in her head and a bandaged up, possibly fractured arm, Stegall is quite dismissive about the ordeal.

Her husband, Tim, was a little less cavalier.

“Terrible,” said Tim Stegall, 57, about coming back to the store and finding his wife laying on the ground, surrounded by paramedics.

“She’s laying there and people are all over the top of her and she’s not saying nothing. It was just devastating.”

Devastating enough for Stegall to stay at home, it was not. Just hours after the power went out and she was released from the hospital she was back behind the register — her father, Erv, started the store decades earlier — dishing out servings of what can be only described as her own unique sense of humor and attitude.

Gimmicky signs highlighting her character — some that aren’t safe for broadcast or print, for that matter — abound in the store, as well as evidence of her humorous attitude. Her sense of comedy playing out in the men’s restroom where a large fake snake lies behind the door, waiting for unsuspecting customers.

“You just have to laugh about it,” she said.

“Why do you say you have to laugh about it?” I asked her.

“You just do,” she said, as friends, customers continued to come up and giver her hugs after word spread about the robbery.

“You just got to laugh and let it go or it will eat your ass up and that ain’t worth a damn.”

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