16-year-old with autism beaten by masked burglars in Norman

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NORMAN, Okla. – One man is facing several charges in connection with an assault and robbery, while his alleged accomplices are still on the run.

Luke Armstrong is charged with larceny of an auto, resisting arrest, possession of stolen property, robbery, eluding officers, assault and battery on an officer, and burglary.

Police got a call in the middle of the night from a distraught woman who said a group of men in masks broke into her home, stole a set of keys, and beat her 16-year-old son who has autism on their way out.

“He hit my son in the head with something,” she told the 911 dispatcher. “He has autism so he was saying, ‘My hair, my hair, they hurt my hair,’ he just started screaming.”

The mother told News 4 they left him with a concussion and a laceration across his face.

While officers were at her home investigating, another 911 call came in from just a few miles away.

The second victim, Ryan Mansell, said he was just about to drive away from his friend’s house when a Range Rover blocked him in and the masked men jumped out of the car and stuck a gun in his face.

“They just said, ‘Empty your pockets or you’re fried,’ and I was like, ‘Ok man, just chill out. I don’t really have anything on me,'” Mansell said.

They grabbed his cell phone and smacked him in the head with the gun before taking off.

Police quickly found the Range Rover which came back as stolen. They chased it, but the driver turned off the headlights and it disappeared. Then a little while later, an officer spotted it in a parking lot. This time, they were able to stop it using a pit maneuver.

By this time, Armstrong was the only person in the car. Police said he ran before fighting with officers who arrested him.

According to court documents, Armstrong told officers he saw the car speeding and “followed it to confront the subject when he found the vehicle abandoned.” He then said he was “taking the vehicle to a gas station so it could be found easier when the police initiated emergency lights.”

Since the arrest, Mansell said the home where he was robbed was targeted again and two cars’ windows smashed. He believes it was the same people who robbed him.

“What are the chances that two events like that happen at the same house?” Mansell said.

Officers are hoping Armstrong will confess, and give up the names of his accomplices.


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