Hit And Run Suspect Arrested

EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY October 13, 2014 - Sunday evening, deputies arrested a convicted felon believed to be the hit and run driver who struck the 13-year-old son of Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack Friday afternoon.  Billy Dale Barnett, Jr., 25, of Magnolia already had an outstanding felony warrant when he allegedly struck the boy and then fled the area.

Barnett was one a Crime Stoppers Featured Fugitives two weeks ago and was still on the run when he added to his troubles. The Noacks were parked on the side of Champions Ridge Road in Magnolia with their flashers activated, along with another vehicle parked behind them with flashers activated. Noack’s son got out of his father’s vehicle to open a family member’s gate. A pickup, believed to have been driven by Barnett, went around the two stopped vehicles and struck the boy, throwing him into a rocky ditch nearby. The pickup stopped briefly and a female passenger jumped out and started toward the boy, but the driver yelled at her to get back into the truck. She complied and they sped away. The younger Noack was scratched and bruised, but medics checked him on the scene and he was not transported. Fortunately, Commissioner Noack got the truck’s license plate number and gave it to DPS Trooper Will Frederick who took the report and conducted the on-scene investigation.

By Saturday, the truck was linked to Barnett and his photo was posted online with other information and spread like wildfire through news and social media. Around 2 p.m. Sunday, members of the Montgomery County Precinct 3 and Precinct 4 Constable’s Offices met to launch their own investigation, assisted by US Marshals.

They checked out leads at locations around Magnolia that led to Harris County. Six stops later, and within hours of beginning their search, they found Barnett. He was visiting a friend when Precinct 4 deputies arrived and he was arrested without incident.
Commissioner Noack was very pleased and relieved to learn the news of Barnett’s arrest.
“The entire Noack family wants to express our gratitude to all the law enforcement agencies involved, with a special tip of the hat to the Precinct 3 and 4 Constable’s Offices for apprehending him,” Commissioner Noack said. “The whole family will sleep better knowing this criminal is in custody.”

He also praised the collaborative effort involved in the swift arrest.

“I’m proud of how our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies worked together,” Noack said. “He was hunted down like the animal he is.”

Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden and Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable, who are also fathers, agreed that anyone who could hit a child and leave him lying in a ditch needed to be taken off the streets. 

“It doesn’t matter whose child is involved,” Constable Hayden said. “It becomes a high priority when someone does something like this.”

“As a result of the arrest, we hope the Commissioner and his family can get back to a normal life,” Constable Gable said. “I know he was concerned about the suspect being on the loose.”

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